Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Looking after your mental health
Mental health charity Vetlife has put together comprehensive guidance on managing mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidance from veterinary mental health charity, Vetlife

In light of the government's advice on social distancing, mental health charity Vetlife has put together comprehensive guidance concerning the impact on mental health for the veterinary profession during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Here we have pulled out some of the charity's key information and advice. For the full document, and advice for those already struggling with their mental health, please click here.

Information overload

While it is important to stay up-to-date with the evolving situation, Vetlife recommends that people only look for information updates at specific times of the day. Watching, listening or reading news once or twice a day from a trusted source will limit how much information you are exposed to and can prevent feelings of anxiety and distress.

An individual's control of the current situation is very limited, and therefore overexposure to news can only increase worry and may even enable the spread of misinformation.

Maintaining connections
Self-isolation, social distancing and quarantine rules mean that we may now have very limited contact with our friends and family during this time. However, being able to still contact our loved ones during this pandemic is crucial for our mental well-being.

Vetlife suggests trying to maintain and structure in regular social contact using social media, video calls or telephone. Indeed, many families are now hosting virtual birthday parties or online pub quizzes!

While self-isolation can make you feel withdrawn and less likely to want to reach out to others, you must do so, even if it does feel very difficult.

A sense of routine
If you've suddenly found yourself working from home, you might be feeling a little lost - especially if you are now also looking after children or vulnerable people who may also be self-isolating.

Keeping to usual timings can help you to cope with this sudden change and maintain a sense of normality. For example, going to bed and getting up at the usual time and eating when you would normally do so.

Increasing the amount of contact you have with friends and family by phone or telephone can also be a massive help during this difficult time.

Look after yourself

Sleep and rest are vital for our mental health and, under this increasing pressure, they are more important than ever.

As caring professionals, you might naturally turn to look after others before you care for yourself. But you must take some time out for yourself to rest, sleep, eat regular meals and stay hydrated.

Vetlife recommends prioritising rest days and breaks where you can. More advice about sleep can be found at https://ep.bmj.com/content/102/3/127

What can you control?
Vetlife states that you should identify aspects of your life and work which you can control and maintain these. During times of adversity, having a sense of control is important, even if it is only over very small things.

For more help and advice, the Vetlife Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for confidential support. To contact Vetlife, please call 0303 040 2551 or click here to send an anonymous email.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Government to run free webinars on exporting horses

News Story 1
 The UK government has announced that it will be running two free webinars for horse owners and exporters, explaining what steps to take to export horses from 1 January 2021.

The first webinar will take place on Tuesday 20 October 2020, from 9.30am to 11am. It will cover Export Health Certificate (EHC) requirements from 1 January 2021. Click here to register.

The second webinar will take place on Wednesday 4 November 2020, from 10.30am to 12pm. This session will focus on the steps that businesses need to take to export equines from the UK to the EU. Click here to register.

For more information on exporting horses and ponies after 1 January 2021, please visit the gov.uk website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
More cases of African swine fever confirmed in Germany

More cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in wild boar in Germany.

According to Pig World, 20 outbreaks have been identified in two districts - Brandenburg, where the original case confirmed on September 10 was found, and near the town of Neuzelle, some 7.5 km away.

The finding represents a further seven cases confirmed by Germany's Friedrich-Loeffler Institute. A Central Crisis Team has been established to coordinate the response to the outbreak.