Maintaining mental health
In order to do well in school, especially considering the rigors of the program, balance mental well-being and physical health. Being healthy allows for best learning, performance, and personal satisfaction while in school. Creating a healthy lifestyle now will promote a lifelong healthy lifestyle.
Many vet students have a history of personal or family mental health disorders. Students may have been under the care of a mental health provider at home, but don’t want to find a new practitioner when away from home. Health insurance coverage may also be an issue. Getting medication refills can be challenging.
As students get immersed in the veterinary program, they also tend to skimp on sleep, nutrition and exercise, all of which impact their mental as well as physical health.
- Check out your level of wellbeing through the UMN Center for Spirituality and Healing – self assessment.
- Address seasonal affective disorder and/or fear of missing out (FOMO)
- See if you can get a referral from your current provider.
- Get appointments when home for breaks to keep up your prescriptions.
- Get enough sleep and get exercise (break a sweat).
- Get outside during breaks. Look at the sky.
- Talk to UMN counselors for options and occasional therapy.
- Use the online services available to you (you are paying for them with your student fees anyway).
- Learn to Live offers free, 100% confidential online programs for stress, anxiety and worry, depression and social anxiety. Visit https://www.learntolive.com/partners and enter the code UMN for access.
- Join the Wednesday process group discussions.
- Use the UMN chat resources and other groups.
- Schedule downtime for yourself.
- See Dr. Mahogany for Mantherapy – even if you aren’t a man.
- AVMA mental wellbeing resources
- Listen to other students – ask classmates, listen to Vetschool unleashed part I and part II as well as other topics.
- 3 good things for resilience
- Coursera : Positive psychology/resilience skills
- Your physician
- A mental health counselor
- Student counseling services: (612) 624-3323
- Boynton Mental health clinic: (612) 624-1444
- Athena Diesch-Chham: (612) 625-4168,
- Health Professionals Service Program (HPSP) – 651-642-0487
- Mental Health Minnesota- 651-288-0400 OR text SUPPORT to 85511
- Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine – 651-201-2844
- MVMA – 651-645-7533
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) www.nami.org- 1-800-950-6264
- National Suicide Prevention Program – www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org – 1-800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line www.crisistextline.org – OR text HOME to 741-741
- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) www.samhsa.gov – 1-800-662-4357
If you haven’t had good mental health before coming into vet school, IT IS NOT TOO LATE. Learning is optimal when you are at your best mentally and physically. Start doing something for yourself today to promote a healthy lifestyle and to facilitate personal and academic success.