VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | Veterinary Pulse Podcast | Veterinary Pulse Podcast with Dr. Susan Cohen Inhale Exhale Veterinary Mental Wellness podcast

Inhale, Exhale Series: Dr. Susan Cohen on colleagues in crisis and suicide awareness in the veterinary profession

*TRIGGER WARNING* some of the content in this episode may include triggers for topics including: Adverse Childhood Events also known as ACEs, animal abuse, and interpersonal violence, including child abuse and domestic violence. As a reminder, if you are a veterinary student or veterinarian, the VIN Foundation’s confidential peer-to-peer support group vets4vets® is here for you, at no cost, please know, you are not alone. Call (530) 794-8094 or visit the website to schedule a session.

Listen in as VIN Foundation Executive Director Jordan benShea has a conversation with Vets4Vets® team member Dr. Susan Cohen about suicide risks in the veterinary profession, how adverse childhood events play a role, and the impact of perfectionism. This episode kicks off the Veterinary Pulse’s Inhale, Exhale Series on mental wellness in the veterinary profession. Learn the warning signs of mental distress, what to do if you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, and where to go for help.


Dr. Susan P. Cohen

Susan has been called a pioneer in the fields of pet loss, human-animal interaction, and the human side of veterinary practice. Since 1982 Dr. Cohen has helped pet lovers make decisions about the illness of their pets. She developed the first-ever Pet Loss Support Group and began an animal assisted activity program that took the then-unusual form of having volunteers work with their own pets. She originated many training programs for workers in the veterinary and social service fields, and she has been a field instructor for several schools of social work. She has written several book chapters and scholarly articles on social work, veterinary practice, and the human-animal bond. Her most recent book chapter, “Loss, Grief, and Bereavement in the Context of Human-Animal Relationships” (Susan Cohen, DSW; and Adam Clark, LSW, AASW) was published in 2019. She is currently working on a chapter on pet loss for Routledge’s International Handbook on Human-Animal Interaction.

These days she consults with veterinary groups on client and professional communication, compassion fatigue, and how to make practice fun again. She facilitates online support groups for veterinarians, animal welfare workers, managers, and those grieving the loss of a pet. She teaches online workshops and lectures widely to veterinary colleges and conferences, colleges of social work, veterinary technician programs, and human health groups on communication, pet loss and bereavement, human-animal interaction, client relations, compassion fatigue, and career development. She is Vice Chairperson of SWAHAB (Social Workers Advancing the Human-Animal Bond), the first such committee of the National Association of Social Workers. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and Smithsonian Magazine. In addition, she has made numerous television and radio addresses nationwide, including “The Today Show,” “20-20,” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”


You may learn more about the VIN Foundation, on the website, or join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

If you like this podcast, we would appreciate it if you follow and share. As always, we welcome feedback. If you have an idea for a podcast episode, we’d love to hear it!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top