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Vetlife Helpline reaches over 4,000 contacts
This latest milestone marks a significant increase in demand for its mental health service.
The charity provides confidential support for those in the veterinary profession.

A mental health charity for the veterinary profession has marked a historic milestone, as its helpline exceeded 4,000 contacts for the first time.

The Vetlife Helpline reached a total of 4,042 contacts across 2023, which was a 15 per cent increase on the 2022 total of 3,503 contacts. This latest milestone marks a significant increase in demand for its mental health service.

The helpline supports all members of the veterinary profession, including nurses, students and non-clinical staff. Those needing support are able to access confidential, round-the-clock support.

As part of its services, the Vetlife Helpline continues to support practices which are coping with bereavement due to suicide, offering tailored assistance for each practice.

As well as its Helpline, Vetlife also runs a Health Support service, connecting individuals experiencing mental health issues and disorders with essential mental health care resources. In 2023, Vetlife facilitated 198 referrals through this service.

Vetlife’s Financial Support service, meanwhile, provides financial assistance to veterinary surgeons and nurses. Those in need of support may get professional financial advice or, if needed, monthly grants or one-time gifts.

Across 2023, Vetlife provided over £100,000 in financial aid to those in need.

Vetlife president James Russell said: “I am hugely grateful to the awesome team of trained volunteers, drawn from our professions who ensure that every contact to Vetlife receives a timely and individual response. It is reassuring for me to know that we are providing a listening ear to so many people who need our service.
“As the demand on Vetlife Helpline increases, so does the imperative to train more volunteers, and to ensure that more complex needs of callers are being understood and met. This, together with the Health Support service, and our Financial Support service comes at a cost to our charity, and I am delighted that we are undertaking fundraising in a more professional manner than ever.”

You can become a Friend of Vetlife, which gives mental health and financial support to your peers, here. Or to make a donation to Vetlife, visit here.

Image © Shutterstock/Vetlife

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

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News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.