The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) Veterinary Wellness Roundtable will be held during mental health month, on the 26th of October 2022.
Independent stakeholder research conducted in 2021 by the AVA demonstrated that veterinarians have higher rates of personal mental health issues than the general population. Over half (66.6%) of veterinary respondents mentioned they have or are experiencing a mental health condition (compared to 61.8% nationally). More specifically, 41.6% of respondents to the survey indicated that they had experienced a mental health condition in the past 12 months.
The purpose of the roundtable is to discuss how to effectively work together as one veterinary community, with the outcome of holistically supporting veterinarians and veterinary staff to lead satisfying, prosperous and healthy careers. It will be moderated by Jorgen Gullestrup, a leader in workplace mental health and suicide prevention.
“The intent of this discussion is to build on the extensive work conducted last year by SuperFriend and help us to inform the next steps for the development of an industry led mental health & wellbeing strategy inclusive of a suicide prevention and intervention framework,” said AVA President, Dr Bronwyn Orr.
“We are excited to have a diverse group of stakeholders involved in this discussion. Our guests include industry experts in the field of mental health, veterinary professionals from a range of disciplines and our newly formed AVA Veterinary Wellness Steering Group,” said Dr Orr.
The AVA Veterinary Wellness Roundtable will assist the association to identify gaps in their approach to formulating the overarching industry framework and guidelines pertaining to mental health in the veterinary industry.
The roundtable, as well as a new steering group, form part of AVA’s focus on veterinary wellness. Earlier this year, the association launched their industry-led wellness initiative, THRIVE, that seeks to support and protect the wellbeing of all veterinary practitioners.