The scientific and medical knowledge developed through animal research has saved countless lives and improved the health outcomes for both humans and animals. However, the ethical cost of using animals in research may cause some individuals to experience emotional distress, especially if strong bonds are formed between themselves and the research animals, or if they perform euthanasia as part of their occupational/research duties.
It is important to acknowledge that these feelings and emotions, commonly referred to as “compassion fatigue,” are not only legitimate and appropriate responses to the work you do with animals, but, when expressed through the proper channels, can actually be used to enhance and support the research environment you create for both your colleagues and the animals under your care.
If you are struggling with compassion fatigue, there are several resources that can help:
- Read the Cost of Caring Brochure provided by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS)
The U-M also provides mental wellness programs and counseling services, free of charge, to all faculty and staff:
- The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (U-M Faculty and Staff) can be contacted at (734) 936-8660 or email@example.com
- The Michigan Medicine Employee Assistance Program (Michigan Medicine Employees) can be contacted at (734) 763-5409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We encourage you to share this information with your staff by downloading and posting this Compassion Fatigue Resources Flyer in your work area. Remember, it is our individual and collective responsibilities to ensure a safe, secure, and supportive environment in which our animals receive the highest standards of care throughout every stage of the research process.