Veterinary women's health month to highlight the huge impact of health taboos on working life - Veterinary Practice
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Veterinary women’s health month to highlight the huge impact of health taboos on working life

Initiative is aimed at exploring the impact of breast cancer, menopause, infertility and baby loss, and how we can better support these individuals in the workplace

Veterinary Woman is bringing challenging health topics to the fore throughout October and into November. Coinciding with national awareness campaigns, the series of live interviews, articles and surveys is aimed at exploring the impact predominantly on women but including all genders affected by breast cancer, menopause, infertility and baby loss, and how we as a profession can better support these individuals in the workplace. The initiative is encouraging a wide range of stakeholders to participate, and partners are actively being sought to fund the activities and develop further resources.

The October campaign includes free access articles and live online sessions with VetYourBreasts campaign organiser, veterinary surgeon Anna Beber, as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (date TBC); VetMINDS co-founder, vet Nat Scroggie, on 12 October during Baby Loss Awareness Week; Dr Karen Morton, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist on World Menopause Day 18 October; and SPVS Senior Vice President, Catriona Curtis, talking about her personal experiences with infertility on 2 November during National Fertility Week.

A survey on the impact of the menopause, particularly on working life, is being run in partnership with SPVS in the run up to World Menopause Day. The survey seeks to gain a broad understanding of both awareness and experience across the profession, and responses are encouraged from all ages and genders, whether personally affected or not. The survey can be accessed online until 15 October.

SPVS President, Anna Judson, said, “Having experienced the effects of the menopause working as a practice owner, I wish I had known more about the impact and that I was not alone in how I was feeling. There is a growing appetite to tackle these issues and we want to hear from anyone affected by the menopause, in order to put the right support mechanisms in place. We’re proud to sponsor the menopause webinar and partner with Veterinary Woman on raising awareness about health issues, which are often brushed under the carpet.”

Liz Barton, editor of Veterinary Woman, says ”I have been incredibly moved to see the deep empathy and encouragement amongst veterinary colleagues beginning to open up about the impact of health challenges, particularly at work. When I realised the campaigns in October were topics we need to talk about more as a profession, it seemed right to use this as a platform to tackle some of the hidden, emotive health challenges we bear throughout our life and work. We are looking for partners to help us develop the conversations and practical assistance for individuals and practices, to better support those who are silently living with these burdens.”

Companies and organisations wishing to support the work should contact liz@veterinarywoman.co.uk. Individuals can register for updates about how to access the sessions by joining the Veterinary Woman email list for updates, or following Veterinary Woman on social media.

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