By Jo-ell Carson, Executive Director, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association
After working in several different industries, I feel fortunate to have used many programs similar to the Veterinary Professional Assistance Program (VPAP). While these programs have been around for a while, they are often underutilized. Why?
People don’t understand the wide range of services provided. They are concerned it will be a hassle or cost them money. They are intimidated or think it’s only for mental health assistance. Nothing could be further from the truth.
From my experience, these programs are unbelievably valuable and easy to use. Whether you are looking for therapy, financial advice, help with daycare or someone to mow your lawn, VPAP can help. The free service starts by using the app, website or your phone to quickly connect to a helpful human being.
Hey VPAP, help me with work/life balance. I’m overwhelmed.
In the age of COVID-19 and specifically in the profession of veterinary medicine, the first service to explore is mental health assistance. There is no need to struggle in silence. The VPAP can find someone for you to talk with on topics ranging from relationship issues and workplace concerns to anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and anything in between.
Hey VPAP, help me manage my loans and finances for a more successful practice and life.
While VPAP won’t pay off your loans, it will help you with free financial, legal and human resources assistance. This area of the program is robust helping with budget planning, credit advice and resolving legal matters. It’s a good place to turn for identity theft, fraud prevention, setting up workplace policies or working through employee change in your practice.
Hey VPAP, help me with my son’s terrible twos, my daughter’s teenage drama and my father’s refusal to downsize!
Yep, VPAP handles parenting issues as well. From fertility concerns, adoption and finding childcare to talking to your teenager, setting social media boundaries and college planning, if you have a parenting question, VPAP will help find the answer. VPAP will also help with issues concerning your parents, regardless if they are nearby or far away. Topics range from finding in-home and external caregiving options, solutions for lawn care and snow removal, or simply adjusting to retirement.
Hey VPAP, is there anything that is not covered?
The simple answer is, give it a try. When in doubt, reach out to VPAP. It was created to alleviate stress in all areas of your life. The WVMA is proud of the work our organization did, in collaboration with the Veterinary Examining Board, to bring this program to Wisconsin veterinary professionals. It would be a shame for you to work harder to figure things out on your own. You don’t have to – utilize the free help.
Plus, remember, there are no silly questions. Like Google, they have probably heard it all.