Today is World Mental Health Day! According to Open Minds Health who ran a Mental Wellbeing Awareness Course attended by our Practice Manager, one in four of us will have issues with our mental wellbeing at any given time. And statistics collected by the Samaritans show there are over 6,000 suicides in the UK each year alone.
Every year, World Mental Health Day carries a theme in order to raise awareness around mental wellbeing, and this year it’s ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’.
Mental Health is a hot topic in the vet world at the moment, as vets are 3-4 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population (statistic from Open Minds Health). And Compassion Fatigue, a mental health condition most commonly experienced by those in caring professions, where a person exposed to repeated high-emotion situations can become withdrawn and depressed, is becoming more recognised.
At 387 Vets, we work hard to make the practice a happy and rewarding place to be. And we love our jobs. But sadly, given the nature of our work, there will always be times when our job can be heartbreaking, emotionally draining and difficult.
In Autumn 2016, to support our staff, and to provide a better experience for our clients, the whole team undertook end of life training with Compassion Understood. The company is dedicated to teaching best practice for when the time comes to say goodbye to a beloved pet, as well as providing much needed information and support for owners. Not only has the course helped us to see things from a client’s perspective and to make positive changes to our end of life care, but it’s also helped our team implement strategies for looking after their own mental wellbeing.
In January this year, 387 Vets was awarded an inaugural Wellbeing Award from the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons and RCVS’s Mind Matters Initiative. Our Compassion Understood training contributed to this, in addition to access for the whole team to an 8 week mindfulness course and lots of other wellbeing strategies to keep us connected, driven, positive and mentally healthy at work.
We love our team! Employing initiatives that support mental wellbeing, has a knock on effect – happy team, means happy clients, and most importantly, happy pets :-).