11 Jan 2021 | Animal welfare
Supporting #TeamVet's mental health during lockdown
Vetlife's Eve Ritchie details the resources available for veterinary workplaces to help support your colleagues' mental health.
As we make our way through the third UK lockdown, it’s vital to look after our mental health, and to look out for colleagues who may be struggling. Veterinary mental health charity Vetlife has many free resources to help you promote good mental health in your practice or workplace.
Vetlife Helpline Stickers
There’s strong evidence that having a sign or message with a number to call for help at places people may be when they are at risk of harming themselves reduces deaths and crisis incidents. That’s why Vetlife created these free Helpline stickers for practises. The Vetlife Helpline is a free listening service which is available 24/7, 365 to all in the veterinary community, including vet nurses, non-clinical staff and students.
We recommend sticking these to the back of toilet doors, staff noticeboards, or on the inside of controlled drugs cabinets. You could help a colleague in a crisis. Please help us to ensure that every veterinary practice has a Vetlife Helpline sticker clearly visible.
To request your free Vetlife Helpline stickers, visit our website
Going home checklist
Going home doesn’t mean you automatically switch off from the days events. Taking work stress home with you can have a negative impact on your mental health over time. So before rushing home after your shift, take a few moments to reflect on the day and check in on how you’re doing. Our new going home checklist is here to encourage reflection and mindfulness at the end of a working day. The 5 easy steps in the checklist help you process the day, and leave work at work.
Step by step Going Home Checklist:
- What am I worrying about and can I leave it here?
- Do I need to check in with colleagues?
- What are three things that went well today?
- Am I OK? What support do I need?
- Do I need to talk to someone in confidence? If so, speak to Vetlife Helpline on 0303 040 2551
You can download the checklist from the Vetlife website, print it off and pin it somewhere that your colleagues can see before they leave, such as a staffroom noticeboard.
Many people in the vet community are aware of our Helpline service, but our Health and Financial Support services are less well known. Displaying the Vetlife poster in your practice can help to raise awareness with your colleagues about the variety of support available to them.
Vetlife Health Support is here to help those in the veterinary community who are experiencing mental health difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, and stress. The support is delivered by a team of professionals: psychiatrists; mental health nurses; and therapists who have years of experience working in mental health.
Our Financial Support service is available to UK vet surgeons and their dependants. Vetlife will look at all of your circumstances in order to understand your financial issues better and will help you to plan a way forward. We provide tailored support in a number of ways, including through emergency assistance, regular monthly grants or one-off gifts.
Our wellbeing tips poster acts as a reminder for you and your colleagues to practice self-care, and ask for help when you need it. The long hours and high intellectual, emotional and physical demands of a veterinary career can be tough to deal with, so taking care of your own wellbeing is vital. The poster has useful self-care reminders, such as learning to say no, and taking a break when you need one.
For more information about mental health, how we can help, and advice and information, visit our website.
If you need to talk to someone in confidence, you can contact the 24/7, 365 Vetlife Helpline on 0303 040 2551 or via anonymous email via the Vetlife website.
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