Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Veterinary mental health resources

Australian shepherd, dog, thoughtful dog
We all need a reminder of how to look after ourselves at times.

We recently spent some time with veterinarian and wellbeing advocate Dr David Bartram. Regular readers will know that mental health and wellbeing of all those working with animals is a cause we feel is vitally important.

This week Dr Bartram’s series of short, accessible and very practical videos about vets and wellbeing have gone live via the Zoetis VetVance site and these are a resource I’m keen to share.

In the videos, Dr Bartram discusses the following topics:
  • Mental wellbeing and veterinarians
  • What is depression?
  • Coping with stress (this was one of my favourites – there are different coping strategies for problems you can solve and things you can’t change).
  • Where and when to seek help
  • Enhancing personal mental wellbeing (these were also a standout IMO).

They’re quite brief videos, ranging from around two to four minutes each, with an emphasis on practical things you can do to deal with stress, get help when you need it or improve your wellbeing. And they’re suitable for nurses, vet students and anyone interested in stress and wellbeing. You do need to sign up to the site to access the videos, but it doesn't take long and it is free.

In other news, veterinary surgical oncologist and author of Lucky Dog, Dr Sarah Boston, had a terrifying situation when she was held up at gun point by a fearful neighbour. While it was distressing she wrote about the experience on her blog. It’s wortha read.

We’ve already had some submissions to the vet cook book but we’re keen for more. In answer to some questions, YES you can make your submission anonymous to readers but we do need to know your name and details for correspondence. NO, you don’t have to be a chef or even a cook. YES, you can send recipes for things on toast.  YES, parasitologists and ex-parasitologists can contribute. The dual fantasy is this: a) that we will produce a cook book that those working with animals will enjoy and find accessible; b) that in the process of whipping up recipes, people will come together, have chats, support each other and be nourished and thereby the world will be saved. Stay tuned for some sample recipes and please consider contributing.