Mission's Social Work in Vet Med program provides a social worker as client support to help both clients and staff with their emotional needs, such as grief, anxiety, anger, and fear.
We see the trauma to the pet owners daily, when their pet is facing injury or illness. Families arrive at Mission Animal Hospital under immense stress and experiencing high levels of executive dysfunction, disrupting their ability to manage their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. While their pet is being diagnosed and treated, they’re often presented with complex information and difficult decisions to make, made more challenging due to this executive dysfunction.
By serving a low-income clientele, Mission Animal Hospital also has a large percentage of families needing our services who report experiencing food, housing, and pet food insecurity. In 2021, more than 60% of our Mission Program families reported experiencing food insecurity, nearly 30% faced housing insecurity, and about 6.5% reported having been homeless in the last year.
When these issues converge, families needing our care struggle. Since May 2022, Mission Animal Hospital has sought to address emotional distress through the implementation of our Social Work in Vet Med Program.
As part of this program, a trained social worker is on site to help guide families through difficult treatment decisions, provide grief counseling, and offer access to resources such as food or housing assistance, domestic violence shelters and resources, counseling, financial resources, and more.