Research and common knowledge show that animal care workers experience significant strains on mental health. Be it grief, both complicated and disenfranchised, or the mere stress of juggling support for our furry friends with support for the people that love them, very few have addressed the impact that this field can have on mental well-being.

While you are supporting them, who is supporting you?

This 8-week support group is for anyone in the animal care field looking to find others who experience the associated mental health strains of the job. Through these sessions, participants will:

Find mutual support with those of similar experiences.
Learn about the mental health strain caused by frequent, prolonged and repetitive grief-and the subsequent disenfranchisement of this grief.
Learn ways to cope on the job.

The group will be facilitated by Benji Marton, LCSW, Director of Operations and Therapist at Head/Heart Therapy, Inc. Benji has been in the field of mental health since 2017, when he graduated from Loyola University with his masters of social work. Before graduating, Benji was an animal care worker himself for over 5 years, working at various animal shelters and doggie day cares. Benji is the primary author of the article Exploring the loss and disenfranchised grief of animal care workers, which is free to the public:
Benji can be reached at

The group will be held on Mondays from 5:30-7:00 CST. Start date will be determined once the minimum of 8 participants have shown interest. Sessions will be held weekly on Zoom.

Requirements of the group are as followed:
1) Participants must be full-time employees at a animal care organization, including, but not necessarily limited to, veterinary offices, animal shelters, Animal Care & Control, and animal daycare.
2) Participants must be willing and able to commit to attending all 8 sessions.
3) Participants will provide Head/Heart Therapy with a copy of their insurance card for billing purposes; or commit to paying the $25/session.
4) Participants must reside in Illinois.
5) Participants must agree to a free, 10-15 phone call with Benji to assess appropriateness of the group.

Sign Up Here