Comedian Russell Brand has been announced as the keynote speaker at VET Festival 2017 and will join Professor Noel Fitzpatrick on stage for a discussion on ‘Wellness and what that means to us.’
The 2017 conference theme is Wellness which will be at the heart of the conference in response to the increasing rise of veterinary professionals feeling disenchanted in their chosen career path and in recognition of the stress and concerns felt by many in their working life.
Recent surveys have highlighted that the veterinary industry has serious concerns over the personal wellbeing, both physically and emotionally, of professionals in practice who can feel lonely, misunderstood, isolated and anxious.
VET Festival aims to reenergise veterinary professionals by increasing wellness for animals through the delivery of world-class educational streams, but also for themselves, the people who dedicate their lives to doing the right thing for the patients in their care and the families who love them.
Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, who founded VET Festival three years ago, said: “This is a challenge that I can really empathise with. Along with lack of sleep and challenging cases, I have experienced feelings of depression, anxiety, isolation, fear and worthlessness first hand and I have invited Russell Brand who has had his own fair share of challenges to converse with me about these themes.
“We sincerely hope to reach out with integrity and honesty so that others may learn and perhaps take some comfort from our experiences.”
The keynote will take the form of an informal discussion between Russell and Noel, followed by a question and answer session with delegates to provide help and insight into coping with the challenges of working life in the veterinary industry and beyond.
“I am deeply grateful to Russell for being here with us and for sharing his own personal story and experiences. I truly believe that this collectively shared vulnerability in the face of life’s challenges will make a difference and I sincerely hope that you will feel the same.”