WILMINGTON, Del., Jan. 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Google's Year in Search named 2021 the year of "healing," as people sought ways to improve their physical and mental health. This year, newly formed 501(c)(3) nonprofit the Veterinary Hope Foundation (VHF) boldly declares 2022 as The YEAR OF HOPE.

This year, newly formed nonprofit the Veterinary Hope Foundation (VHF) boldly declares 2022 as The YEAR OF HOPE.

Formed in 2021 by a small group of concerned veterinarians, the VHF is the "little nonprofit that could." In less than eight months, the VHF formed a 501c3 foundation, and brought together a full board of directors and founding sponsors, including pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim and full-service advertising agency Bader Rutter, that have all committed time, resources and funding to support mental wellness in the veterinary community. Now, the nonprofit is showing up at VMX, the world's largest veterinary conference, Jan. 15-19 in Orlando, with the lofty goal of surrounding 10,000 veterinarians and their teams with hope.

One of the VHF's founders, Blair McConnel, VMD, said, "Like other medical professionals right now, veterinarians are exhausted. They're leaving the profession and suffering from mental health challenges. The VHF is bringing the industry together to share this common message, 'We see you. We're bringing resources to you. And, most importantly, pet owners and animal lovers of all shapes and forms care about you. You matter. There is HOPE.'"

Bader Rutter, a founding sponsor of the VHF, developed a campaign to both lift spirits and bring awareness to these issues. At VMX, the VHF is featuring QR codes of all shapes, colors and sizes (from coffee sleeves to a 79-foot installation) throughout the conference venue to show love and appreciation to the participants. Over two dozen unique videos will feature quick thank-you messages directed to veterinarians from pets and their owners. This activation is already bringing the pet care community together, as more than five exhibiting companies have agreed to put VHF QR codes and messaging on their booths to further spread hope.

A key differentiator for the VHF is its belief that the veterinary profession needs to build small communities of support. Not only is the organization bringing pet food, animal health and pet retail companies together to address these issues, it's also bringing veterinarians together. The VHF offers small group sessions for veterinary professionals. These support groups allow veterinarians to connect in a safe, confidential and caring space. Led by a licensed mental health professional, the groups focus on topics meaningful to practicing veterinarians such as balancing family and work, handling grief, cultivating emotional resilience, and communicating with troubled clients.

Results from the first support groups are overwhelmingly positive. One veterinarian noted, "It's exactly what I didn't know I needed, but [the group] provided me with more insight than months of 1:1 therapy." All support group participants who were polled strongly agreed that we need more resources to address the mental health challenges and that support groups are one of the strongest ways to provide help.

You can learn more about the foundation, its support groups, and how you or your organization can help spread hope at Learn more about our VMX activation in this brief overview video:

About the Veterinary Hope Foundation 
Founded in May 2021, the Veterinary Hope Foundation (VHF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on early education and connection programs tailored for the animal care community. Built on the belief that there's hope for veterinarians in crisis, the VHF provides veterinarians with the tools and support they need to navigate the common stressors unique to their profession. With veterinarians about three times more likely than the general population to die by suicide, the VHF aims to generate broad awareness of the issue and generate lasting change through its public awareness campaign. Governed by a board of directors and advisory panel composed of mental health experts, practicing veterinarians and animal lovers, the VHF is uniquely positioned to impact the future of the veterinarian profession. To learn more about the VHF, please visit and follow us on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.  

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SOURCE Veterinary Hope Foundation