VetLife Australia – Reducing Workplace Stress

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Dear Fellow Veterinarians,

The AVA should be commended for promoting the Mental Health First Aid courses and incorporating mental health education into the National Conference. TJ Heath first commented on veterinarians mental 20 years ago and Dr Helen Fairnie reported suicide and other indicators of poor mental health in veterinarians 12 years ago. Hatch et al published the largest study of mental health of veterinarians six years ago in the AVJ. These reports were peer reviewed and published in the AVJ. Researchgate reports the paper of Hatch et al detailing mental states has been cited 36 times worldwide and downloaded 213 times. This demonstrates the worldwide interest in the topic of mentation in veterinarians. Hatch et al are soon to publish another paper detailing the stressors reported by veterinarians.

The Mental Health First Aid ( promoted by the AVA) course aims to train individual veterinarians in skills to recognize others struggling with issues and encourage them to seek help and may have an impact on the suicide rate.

As reported six years ago in excess of 30% of veterinarians suffer stress, some level of depression or are suffering burnout. Workplace stress is a precursor for depression and the direct cause of burnout. Reducing workplace stress is both an individual and a management responsibility.

Feedback from a presentation I made on behalf of the charity at the Rural Veterinarians Assoc. conference in Robe indicated that it was informative, increased awareness and the information was personally relevant. This encouraged colleagues to seek more information. This feedback indicated the ongoing need for further similar presentations to be made available to all veterinarians.

It is now the intention of the charity to run an interactive seminar workshop (Pathway to a Positive Veterinary Life). This has been scheduled for February 2018 in South Australia (the dates and location to be advised). Detail of the program is on the website at

It is essential to register your interest as soon as practicable. You can email us at to enable finalisation of the date and location. You can also email us if you would like additional information. It would also be appreciated if veterinarians in other areas email their expressions of interest so that we can advance the schedule of events for 2018.

The health promotion charity, Australian Veterinary Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention Ltd is reliant on support in the way of donations to continue and expand to fulfil its mission, You can find the bank account details to contribute by clicking on donate on the website

All the best for 2018

The Directors (Peter Hatch, Chris Doyle and Stephanie Zanatta)
Peter Hatch, Secretary

09/02/2018 |

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