Mental Health Stigma is Stopping Veterinary Students From Seeking Help, Says New Study

Mental Health Stigma is Stopping Veterinary Students From Seeking Help, Says New Study

A culture of perfectionism and a stigma against mental health is preventing veterinary students from seeking care, claims a new report from the University of Missouri.

According to the research, despite increasing awareness around mental wellbeing, many students and qualified vets do not seek professional help. Although solutions can be easy to implement, educators and practitioners need to break down the surrounding barriers why people do not seek professional help, says Tamara Hancock, an assistant professor at the university:

A previous study had indicated two-thirds of licensed veterinarians are clinically depressedyet nearly one-third do not seek help, ‘she says.

‘These are people that can really benefit from mental health services, so we wanted to better understand the barriers that might be keeping veterinary students in distress from taking advantage of the mental health resources available to them.’

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RCVS Renewal Fees Due Before April

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is reminding vets and practices that their annual renewal fees are due this month. They had been temporarily halted as a result of the pandemic.

The spokesperson for the RCVS told Vet Times that ‘as well as paying the fee, veterinary surgeons also need to renew their registration by logging on to the RCVS My Account area to confirm their details; declare if they have any convictions, cautions, or adverse findings; and confirm that they have complied with the CPD requirement of 35 hours in 2021. ‘

‘Those who do not have a direct debit set up, or the employer is not paying their fee, will also need to pay their fee via the My Account area.’

‘Please note that if the fee is not paid by 1 May 2022 then an extra £ 35 charge will be added to the cost of the annual renewal fee. Those who fail to pay on or before 31 May 2022 will be removed from the Register of Veterinary Surgeons and will not be allowed to practice legally as a veterinary surgeon until they are restored to the register. ‘

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Australian Researchers Create Guidelines for Vets on Cultural Competence

A research project outlining cultural guidance for vets has been finally published after 9 years.

The research, which is already being applied at Sydney University’s School of Veterinary Science, was published in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Given that Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, such studies are incredibly useful for practitioners looking to improve their cultural understanding.

‘Veterinarians work with culturally and linguistically diverse teams, clients, and communities,’ says Associate Professor Gongora, who is Colombian-Australian.

‘Despite this, there is little focus on this as a competency and in an educational setting. Cultural perspectives on animals and differences in communication, consultation, and engagement protocols can influence relationships, impacting animal health, welfare, and research outcomes. ‘

To check out the research and read more about this article, click here.

Ukraine’s Bordering Nations Waive Pet Restrictions Amid Russian Attack

Veterinary bodies in countries bordering Ukraine have waived restrictions that would stop refugees from being able to take their pets with them.

Romania, Hungary, and Poland have all changed their regulations, suspending the checking of microchips and vaccination documents.

There are some worries surrounding Ukraine being a ‘country of concern’ for rabies zoonoses, but given the troubling situation at present, many bodies and veterinary professionals are ready to face the challenge and help the wave of pet owners.

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Public Safety Leaders Warn Vets & Animal Owners Against Using Hemp in Feed

Veterinary bodies across the United States have warned vets and animal owners against recommending or using hemp feed, due to its potentially damaging side effects. Not enough is known about the substance for it to be considered safe for consumption.

In a letter to agriculture leaders and policymakers, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, and 16 co-signing organizations (including the American Veterinary Association) expressed concerns around the risks of distribution.

‘It is our position that sufficient scientific research to support the safety and utility of hemp in animal feed must be completed prior to any federal or state approval.’

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Why Wellbeing is Becoming Increasingly Important for Employers

During the initial weeks of the pandemic, businesses spent the majority of their time in ‘damage control’. Preoccupied with trying to navigate restrictions, worker wellbeing was sidelined. However, in 2022, those priorities are changing. As economies open up, growth has become increasingly important. And in order for there to be growth, there needs to be a support system in place to stop employees from burning out and leaving workplaces.

According to data, in the UK 63% of the top employers are offering burnout recovery support, (compared to 49% the year prior), 58% guarantee time off to ‘unplug’ (vs. 44% last year) and 65% are actively encouraging employees not to email out of hours (compared to 48% last year.)

These are promising trends that are sure to accelerate over the next few months.

For more information on how wellbeing trends may impact your workplace, click here.

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