Organisers seek partners to help develop resources and fund activities.
Challenging health issues facing predominately female workers are to be highlighted by organisation Veterinary Women throughout October and November.
Coinciding with national awareness campaigns, a series of articles, surveys and live interviews will explore the impact on all genders affected by menopause, breast cancer, infertility and baby loss, and how the veterinary profession can better support these individuals in the workplace.
The initiative is calling on a wide range of stakeholders to get involved, and partners are being sought to develop further resources and fund activities.
"I have been incredibly moved to see the deep empathy and encouragement amongst veterinary colleagues beginning to open up about the impact of health challenges, particularly at work,” commented Liz Barton, editor of Veterinary Woman. “When I realised the campaigns in October were topics we need to talk about more as a profession, it seemed right to use this as a platform to tackle some of the hidden, emotive health challenges we bear throughout our life and work."
Among the speakers will include veterinary surgeon Nat Scroggie during Baby Loss Awareness Week (9-15 October), consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist on World Menopause Day (18 October), and SPVS senior vice president, Catriona Curtis, discussing her personal experiences with infertility during National Fertility Week (2-5 November).
Throughout October – and forming part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (1- 31 October) - veterinary surgeon and VetYourBreasts campaign organiser Anna Beber will also run a series of free articles and live online sessions.
A survey on the impact of the menopause, particularly on working life, is being run in partnership with SPVS in the run-up to World Menopause Day. The survey seeks to gain a broad understanding of both awareness and experience across the profession, and responses are encouraged from all ages and genders, whether personally affected or not.
"Having experienced the effects of the menopause working as a practice owner, I wish I had known more about the impact and that I was not alone in how I was feeling,” commented SPVS President, Anna Judson. “There is a growing appetite to tackle these issues and we want to hear from anyone affected by the menopause, in order to put the right support mechanisms in place."
Liz Barton added: “We are looking for partners to help us develop the conversations and practical assistance for individuals and practices, to better support those who are silently living with these burdens."
Companies and organisations wishing to support the work should contact email@example.com. Individuals can register for updates about how to access the sessions by joining the Veterinary Woman email list for updates, or following Veterinary Woman on social media.