The veterinary profession is being urged to focus on practice team well-being ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October.

BSAVA is hoping its courses will help practice staff support each other. Image: DragonImages / Fotolia.

The BSAVA is to host Mind Matters CPD courses it hopes will increase knowledge of both mental well-being and how to build resilience in dealing with stress.

It is hoped the courses will help reduce the number of veterinary staff affected by clinical depression, as well as dispelling the stigma around mental illness that may stop people from getting help.

Recognising signs

According to the BSAVA, the meetings are an opportunity for practice teams to learn to recognise signs of mental problems in their colleagues – and, perhaps, in themselves – and how to communicate with those they are concerned about.

BSAVA vice-president John Chitty said it was important to reach out and respond as a profession to this serious problem.

He said: “We’re keen to stress this is not a counselling course, but provides basic information about how to better understand the signs and symptoms of mental ill health, manage important first conversations and point people to relevant sources of professional help.”

‘Understand and appreciate’

“My main advice for everyone is to be aware of others, be supportive, understand and appreciate them and notice when someone isn’t acting as they usually do.

“If you are suffering, remember you are in a team with people who you should be able to talk to. It is impossible to remove stress completely, but we can’t put everything on the practice owner – this is a responsibility for the entire team; the entire profession.”

The course, subsidised by the BSAVA, is available free to association members and £40 per person for non-members.

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