Welcome to VetLifeAustralia, the website of Australian Veterinary Mental Health Awareness and Suicide prevention Ltd, an autonomous, non-affiliated not-for-profit health promotion charity. The company was created to meet the needs of veterinarians after the First International Symposium on Veterinary Mental Health and Suicide held in Brisbane in 2015.
This website is in the very early stages of development. We look forward to building it into a worthwhile resource for Veterinarians in Australia. We warmly welcome your participation, thoughts and ideas. The secretary, Dr Peter Hatch, can be contacted either by phone on 0401268135 or by email at[at]
MENTAL HEALTH – A PRACTICE INVESTMENT.
Reports indicate that in excess of 40% of Australians will suffer poor mental health at some stage in their lives. This has major impact on business (practice) both in terms of productivity and profitability. Poor mental health in the workplace results in increased absenteeism and presenteeism (being at work and not productive) and a doubling of the time away from work as a result of ill health. Burnout, a result of workplace stress, is a major issue for veterinarians with more than 30% affected at any one time and is now considered to be caused by poor management but it affects the individual.
Various estimates predict a return of between $3 and $13 for every dollar invested in improving mental health for small to large businesses. PriceWaterhouseCoopers report a return of $2.30 for every dollar invested.
Improved mental health increases an individuals productivity and job satisfaction as well.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY.
The current OH&S legislation defines health as both physical and mental health. The act provides where a risk is identified positive action must be taken to reduce or eliminate that risk. In the case of mental health this includes workplace stress (effort/reward imbalance and control demand theory) a positive action can include providing the opportunity for staff to learn strategies to reduce that stress. Burnout affects in excess of 30% of veterinarians and is a result of workplace stress that although the individual is affected it is considered to be caused by management. Poor management by an individual of their workplace stress results in personal burnout. Burnout has a direct effects on personal efficacy, work performance, job satisfaction and business profitability. For these reasons alone it is imperative that the skills to reduce workplace stress should be both a business and individuals priority. See resources YourVisionYourLife.
30.6% of veterinarians suffer stress.
25.6% of veterinarians suffer depression.
26.4% suffer work-related burnout.
Veterinarians have almost four times the suicide rate as the Australian population. This equates to a veterinarian committing suicide on average every 12 weeks in Australia.