Survey seeks experiences of racism in the profession
Researchers have launched a landmark survey to investigate experiences of racism in the veterinary profession and the impact these experiences have on the mental wellbeing of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people.
Led by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society (BVEDS), the 'Race Together' survey will examine overt and 'everyday racism' in the sector.
All BAME people working or studying in the UK veterinary sector are invited to share their experiences, including people in any clinical, non-clinical or support role in veterinary organisations, institutions, industry or practices.
Principal investigators, Dr Victoria Crossley (RVC) and Navaratnam Partheeban (BVEDS), said: “This anonymous survey is open to all Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people working or studying in the veterinary sector, not only vets and veterinary nurses, and we would like to encourage people to take part and tell us about their experiences of racism, however ‘major or minor’.
“We hope that our project will increase awareness and understanding of the issues that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people experience while working or studying in the UK veterinary profession, and our findings will be used to inform the design of evidence-based interventions to promote diversity and wellbeing, and the monitoring of their effectiveness.”
Up to now, there has been little formal research investigating the impact of racism on the mental health of veterinary professionals. This is despite ongoing concerns regarding poor mental health in the sector and previous studies showing that everyday racism can negatively impact mental health.
Funded by the RCVS Minds Matters Initiative Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant, the project will explore systemic, commonplace interactions with people and services or systems that, intentionally or unintentionally, leave individuals feeling racially-judged in a covert or deniable way.
Lisa Quigley, RCVS Mind Matters Manager, commented: “We are very glad to be able to support this important project, the first of its kind to look at the mental health impact of racism and discrimination in the veterinary professions.
“Diversity, equality and inclusion is a key strategic priority for the RCVS and hopefully this study will help identify some of the barriers and negative experiences that impact Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic veterinary professionals and develop the appropriate interventions both to tackle discrimination and improve mental health outcomes.”
The survey will remain open until 31 March 2021 and can be found here.