Skip to content

APA and AVMA Team Up to Encourage Americans to #Paws4MentalHealth

  • March 01, 2023

Social Media Campaign to Feature Pets, Twitter Chat March 29

Washington, D.C. — The nation’s leading organizations for psychiatrists and veterinarians are joining forces in March to call attention to the positive mental health benefits of having a pet at home. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), who collectively represent nearly 140,000 physicians and veterinarians, have entitled the effort #Paws4MentalHealth.

As the nation continues to contend with the adverse mental health impacts of the pandemic, including for children, and the human health care and veterinary work forces alike face challenges from burnout, recent polling from the APA found that nearly 90% of Americans who have a pet in their household believe that they offer positive mental health benefits.

“Veterinarians know first-hand the tremendously good impact pets can have on our lives and on our mental well-being,” said Lori Teller, D.V.M., AVMA president. “We are so pleased to partner with APA on this unique opportunity to spread this positive message and to encourage everyone to take a #Paws4MentalHealth.”

“It is wonderful to be able to build this partnership between physicians and veterinarians as we call attention to mental health,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “Pets are part of our lives and families. The way we collectively feel about pets can create excitement and build connections, so I’m very pleased we are launching this campaign.”

A full social media toolkit is available online, with sample posts and frames for Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook. On March 29 at 1 p.m. Eastern, the APA and AVMA will host a Twitter chat about pets and mental health featuring leaders from both organizations under the hashtag #Paws4MentalHealth.

American Veterinary Medical Association

Serving more than 100,000 member veterinarians, the AVMA is the nation's leading representative of the veterinary profession, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment. Founded in 1863 and with members in every U.S. state and territory and more than 60 countries, the AVMA is one of the largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Informed by our members' unique scientific training and clinical knowledge, the AVMA supports the crucial work of veterinarians and advocates for policies that advance the practice of veterinary medicine and improve animal and human health.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit

Medical leadership for mind, brain and body.

Join Today