Pet emergency care provider, Vets Now, has launched a Wellness Month during June to help shine a spotlight on veterinary health and wellbeing, and to tackle some of the issues faced across the professions.
The Wellness Month, part of the group’s wider health and wellbeing strategy, launched the same week it was a survey revealed that half of UK veterinary practices don’t recognise veterinary wellness as an issue.
During June, Vets Now’s 1,300 employees will focus on activities which make them feel happy and supported at work including; Feelgood Friday which inspires lunchtime yoga sessions and taking time to unwind, Workout Wednesday which will see teams across the country taking 10,000 steps, or encouraging colleague picnics outside on National Picnic Day (18 June).
The group has also enlisted the help of one of the country’s leading nutritionists, Lily Soutter, who is a regular on ITV’s This Morning, to devise healthy and quick recipes for busy shift-working vets and vet nurses.
Laura Black, Vets Now’s head of health, safety and wellbeing said: “The issue of mental health is more prevalent than ever in the veterinary profession and we recognise that out-of-hours work, in particular, can present its challenges. That’s why, as an organisation, health and wellbeing is one of our key priorities.
“So whilst our Wellness Month has some fun elements, the overall goal is to make sure our teams feel they are supported at work.”
Nutritionist Lily Soutter, who is a huge advocate of workplace wellness, is also creating nutrition hacks and tips for busy vets and nurses.
She added: “Vets Now’s health and wellbeing strategy identifies that night working, working long or irregular hours, compassion fatigue and burnout are key issues across the veterinary sector which can impact on the physical and mental health of people working in the profession. Importantly, by employers focusing on those areas we can positively make a difference to employees’ lives.”
At Vets Now there are several initiatives in place to ensure staff feel a strong sense of wellbeing, including a company-wide employee wellbeing programme that enables teams and their families to access advice and counselling on any health and wellbeing issue that may be affecting them.
In April this year all Vets Now vets and vet nurses, no matter how many hours they worked, received access to private medical insurance.