The BVA reports that suicide rate among vets is nearly four times the national average – double that of doctors or dentists Levels of depression, stress and anxiety are disproportionately high among veterinary professionals.
In light of this as part of his international MBA, Dr McCoubrey I worked alongside Action Mental Health , a charity that has been looking after employees with mental health disease for over 50 years.
It is not only the actual demands of the job itself, with long, often antisocial working hours, heavy workloads, poor work-life balance and difficult client relations. The industry itself attracts those personality types which are more susceptible to mental health problems when all is not well, with those entering the profession a combination of perfectionist, carer and doer.
Following his work with Action Mental Health we have devised a methodology enabling Veterinary employers to implement a well being strategy, reducing any stigma present and tackling the causes of workplace stress, whilst supporting and training managers. It helps mangers themselves build a rapport with staff, trying to ensure sufficient work-life balance and being able to handle mental health issues effectively. Individuals themselves should try and identify those stress triggers, communicate them to their line manager whilst looking after their own personal well being.