Nearly two thirds of veterinary professionals say their mental health has declined since joining the profession - Veterinary Practice
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Nearly two thirds of veterinary professionals say their mental health has declined since joining the profession

A new study of over 200 veterinary professionals has revealed that 63 percent feel that their mental health has worsened since taking up their career

Commissioned by Vetoquinol UK, the eighth largest veterinary pharmaceutical company globally, this new research found that high stress levels, demanding workloads and unmanageable expectations from clients were the main reasons given for the decline in mental health.

Due to issues like staff shortages and the pandemic pet ownership boom leaving the industry in crisis, more than 40 percent of veterinary professionals believe that their mental health is below average.

A huge contributing factor to this decline is that 67 percent of respondents do not feel that there is enough support in the industry to help them navigate difficult times. However, 78 percent do know where they can seek it if needed and 72 percent feel that they have someone they can talk to about their frustrations and worries around work.

When asked what further assistance they wanted, the professionals stated that in-practice support through dedicated programmes, free counselling and addressing the current problems in the industry were paramount to making tangible changes.

For many, veterinary care is more than just a job — it is a selfless way of life. Nearly 67 percent of those polled said that they chose the career due to a love of animals and passion for protecting their welfare. Seeing happy animals and pleased owners, coupled with obtaining positive outcomes for difficult situations are some of the main drivers that bring veterinary professionals joy, according to the survey.

Managing Director at Vetoquinol UK and NOAH Chair, Caitrina Oakes, said: “The findings from this research have highlighted a harrowing truth — that veterinary professionals from all sectors have been stretched to breaking point. Vets and their teams are sacrificing their well-being to protect the welfare of our farm, equine and companion animals. It is now time for pet owners and businesses alike to recognise the mental strain this is putting on the industry.

“As a veterinary pharmaceutical company, we understand that we have a duty to look after the well-being of those on the frontline. That’s why we are proud to be hosting a free three-part webinar series this month, “Battling Burnout with Vetoquinol“, centred on offering practical guidance and tips on overcoming stress.

“This is just the start of our work in this space and we will continue to support the well-being of vets in 2022 and beyond. In the coming months, we hope to see more businesses, farmers and pet owners rallying together to support those who selflessly care for our animals every day.”

If you are struggling and need support there are organisations that can listen and help such as Vetlife, Mind and Samaritans.

For more information, please contact Vetoquinol UK.

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