The 10th October is recognised annually as World Mental Heath Day and is designed to raise awareness about mental health issues world-wide.
Working on improving wellbeing for positive mental heath in the workplace remains a really big focus in the veterinary industry. Whilst our jobs can be incredibly rewarding, they can at times be emotionally challenging. Sadly, vets in the UK are 3-4 times more likely than the general population to take their own lives (Platt et al., 2010). And it’s not just vets that can be affected by the stresses of work but vet nurses, receptionists, practice managers and students working on placements in practice too.
There are some brilliant initiatives out there to support individual wellbeing in veterinary practice, not least the Mind Matters Initiative set up by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, which offers mental health awareness training and dedicated resources and courses to help veterinary team members flourish.
At 387 Vets, we’ve been working on our own wellbeing initiatives too! On this day last year, we talked about our end of life training contributing to us receiving an inaugural veterinary wellbeing award from the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons and the Royal College’s Mind Matters Initiative. This year, our focus has been on building stress resilience strategies for situations that personally challenge us most. After a 20 week intensive whole-team wellbeing programme, we’re delighted that the exit survey showed the project has had a positive effect!
A happy team leads to happy clients and happy pets :-). We recognise that looking after wellbeing is an on-going journey – we look forward to sharing with you what we’ve been doing to support positive mental health at 387 Vets at the same time next year!