Vets often avoid asking for help when dealing with work stresses, mental health problems or addictions, according to results of a Veterinary Benevolent Fund (VBF) survey and a recent Vetsonline quick poll. 

Vets often avoid asking for help when dealing with work stresses, mental health problems or addictions, according to results of a Veterinary Benevolent Fund (VBF) survey and a recent Vetsonline quick poll. 

UK vets often avoid asking for help when dealing with work stresses, mental health problems or addictions.  The VBF “Vets Helping Vets” survey was completed by 400 UK-based veterinarians working in various roles, including small animal, mixed, large animal and equine practice, academia, industry and Governmental positions.

The survey found that stress at work and maintaining a satisfactory work/life balance are key challenges facing participating members of the profession. However, around half of the respondents said they never or infrequently asked others for advice about their problems.

When asked what was the most significant problem they faced, almost a fifth (18.7%) of respondents said “managing workplace stress”, while 16% cited balancing work and family life as their primary difficulty.

Almost half (49.5%) said they never or infrequently asked anyone for advice about their problems, while 38.3% said they do so only occasionally.

VBF president Dr Lydia BrownCommenting on the survey, VBF president Lydia Brown said: “The findings of this survey are significant for all us of working in the veterinary profession today and many of us will recognise the emerging themes.

“While we train hard for our chosen career and many go on to find fulfilment, it’s clear that in today’s challenging environment, the reality of life in practice can prove a strain. The effect on relationships – both at home and at work – can be traumatic and yet, as a profession we can be reluctant to seek help or advice.”

The weekly Vetsonline “quick poll” asked members of the profession to indicate where, if anywhere, they would feel most comfortable turning to for support when experiencing personal issues, such as depression or an addiction.

Of the 76 responses to the poll:

  • 20 people said they would prefer to speak to a family member
  • 19 respondents selected “friend”
  • 17 respondents said they would choose to speak to a health professional
  • 13 people said they would not confide in anyone
  • 5 individuals said they would contact a support line, such as the Vet Helpline or Samaritans
  • Only 1 person indicated they would speak to an employer, and
  • 1 person said they would speak to a colleague.

For more on this story, see this week’s Veterinary Times (VT42.08).

 

Main image ©iStockphoto.com/sandoclr
View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz