Wellbeing and academic success

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Wellbeing at the College of Veterinary Medicine

Counseling Services

Embedded Mental Health Counseling
Amy Brandt
Amy Brandt is the embedded counselor with the CVM, in partnership with Student Counseling Services.  Amy offers support to students through individual counseling sessions and can also help students connect with resources on campus or in the community.  Meetings with Amy are private and confidential. Additionally, sessions are free and your health insurance will not be billed.

A QR code

If you would like to set up an initial appointment, follow the QR code to complete the intake forms needed to get scheduled with Amy. You may also visit the SCS website to learn more about services and complete intake forms from there: https://counseling.umn.edu/. To reach SCS, email [email protected] or call: 612-624-3323. Amy can be reached directly via email with any questions at [email protected].

Veterinary Social Work Support

Tanja Philhower
Tanja (she/her) is located in the small animal hospital, between the client comfort room and ECC. The social work interns are located in the back hallway of VMC-N across from ICU. Email Tanja at 
[email protected], the interns at [email protected], or stop by their offices. 

Tanja and social work interns are available to assist providers and staff in the clinic including 4th year veterinary students, interns, residents, faculty, technicians, and other support staff. Appointments can take place over the phone, via Zoom, or in person. 

Services offered to clinic providers and staff include:

  • Preparing for or debriefing difficult client conversations or situations
  • Discussions regarding practice related issues such as ethical conflicts, moral injury, professional sustainability, and burnout
  • Discussion of life issues and stressors outside of work
  • Crisis intervention
  • Referral to other needed resources such as campus-based mental health services, employee assistance, community mental health resources, or other needed support resources.

Wellbeing and Student Success

Vesna Hampel-Kozar
Vesna (she/her) is a resource for support, information, and referrals and leads wellbeing programming and initiatives for the DVM program. She also oversees aspects of Vet Pac academic coaching. Vesna does not provide direct mental health services in this role, but has many years of experience as a psychologist in higher education and often uses that context in coaching and supporting students, and collaborating with others to promote a healthy learning environment. Vesna is knowledgeable about resources on and off campus- 
[email protected]

Campus/Community Resources

Campus/community resources

Aurora Center

  • Delivers free and confidential services to victims/survivors/concerned people of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment at the University of Minnesota.

Boynton Health

  • Provides primary care, mental health, transgender health, eye, dental, pharmacy, nutrition, and many other health services
  • Has a St. Paul campus location

Care Program

  • Provides brief case management, student support, and referrals to community resources

Family Resources

Food Support - Nutritious U

  • Care Corners
    Care Corners provide access to healthy, fresh and shelf-stable foods/snacks and personal hygiene items, available to all students and learners at our College. Locations:
    • 4th floor of VMC
    • Lobby of Ben Pomeroy (outside of ASA office - suite 108)
    • Student kitchen/lounge area in ASVM
  • St. Paul Campus Mobile Food Shelf
    • Free groceries & household items available to any University of Minnesota student and their family
    • Available on the 2nd Thursday of every month, 12-2pm
    • Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative Housing north parking lot

Learn to Live
Learn to live offers free, 100% confidential online programs for stress, anxiety and worry, depression and social anxiety.

Visit https://www.learntolive.com/partners and enter the code UMN for access

UMN Center for Spirituality and Healing

YOU at the UMN
Find tips and tools for everything from your mental and physical health, to friendships and finding balance. It’s all here at UMN.

National resources

Crisis text line

  • Serves anyone in any type of crisis & access to free, 24/7 emotional support and counseling via text
  • Text: text HOME to 741-741

988 Suicide & crisis lifeline

  • Phone: 988 or 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
    • Also offered in spanish and for deaf/hard of hearing callers
  • The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals

National Sexual Assault Online Hotline

National Eating Disorder Association

  • Phone: 1-800-931-2237
  • Non-profit US organization advocating on behalf of and supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders.

AVMA Wellness and Peer Assistance

VIN Foundation Vets 4 Vets

UMN Center for Spirituality and Healing

Academic Success

Academic success

VetPac - peer assisted coaching

Vet peer assisted coaching, often referred to as VetPAC is a free service provided by the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), in order to help students who are struggling academically. Designed to enhance student learning, VetPAC provides specific academic assistance for students by arranging one-on-one (or small groups of 2-3) tutoring, pairing a struggling student with another CVM student who is currently excelling or has excelled in the course in the past. VetPAC is designed to improve CVM competencies, study and time management skills. Tutoring sessions last 1-2 hours and are scheduled weekly. 
Please keep in mind that VetPAC is designed to help students struggling in a course (grade of C or below), and is not for those doing well and wishing to improve their grade (moving from an A- to an A). 

Visit the Vet peer assisted coaching page to find out more and request a VetPAC Peer Coach.