024: How To Maintain Your Mental Health In Vet School w/ Laurie Fonken


Today we're having a look inside the mind of today’s veterinary student. Dr. Laurie Fonken focuses on helping students take care of themselves throughout the stressful journey of veterinary schooling and she speaks about the importance of bravery, self-love and the relief of having someone to talk to. 

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Show Notes: 

Dr. Fonken is the Director of Counseling and Wellness Programs for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University, in addition to being a member of the AVMA Roundtable and Veterinary Mental Health Professionals. Through her position, she provides counseling services for DVM students experiencing academic hardships, situational issues, crises or mental-health concerns. In addition, she is also a member of the AVMA Roundtable. 

Dr. Fonken also runs Healer’s Art at CSU. This 15-hour elective enables the formation of community and strives to help students care for their souls. She shares how having a non-judgmental outlet to help overcome the struggles of being a student, and a practitioner can drastically help improve your overall wellbeing.

In this episode:

  • How to improve your team and your wellbeing
  • Making your wellbeing a priority
  • The importance of staying present
  • A look inside the mind of today’s vet students
  • Learning to constructively deal with your mistakes


“If people are suffering or struggling it’s great to offer the support they need. And if we can offer that while they are in school and they can access it and overcome the stigma of seeking help and support, it gives them a solid foundation to leave the program and move into practice.” (7:52) 

“What would it be like to be able to just share [traumatic moments] and have a supportive environment… How can we move forward and embrace one another in those difficult times and be able to move forward from that and be better?” (25:18)

“Most times people just need to be heard. Not evaluated, judged or fixed, just ‘here is my story’.” (29:49)


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For Emergency Situations: If at any time it is brought to your attention that a student is in imminent danger of harming or killing themselves or someone else:
Call CSU Police Department (970) 491-6425 (on campus) or 911
Call 911 (on or off campus)
Take Student to ER

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