Wellbeing Workstream

Vet Futures’ Veterinary Teams Wellbeing Initiative is bringing people together from across, and from beyond the veterinary sector to tackle health and wellbeing issues.

It builds on the Wellbeing Framework which was developed by the Veterinary Council in collaboration with the profession and other key organisations. One of the final outcomes was the establishment of its own independent governance group. Chair Dr Corey Regnerus says it is great to see that the wellbeing of the veterinary profession as a whole was seen as such a priority to have it operating in parallel, yet independent of the overall Vet Futures’ Aotearoa Project Group.

This workstream is the largest of Vet Futures’ work groups, recognising the huge importance wellbeing has on guaranteeing a healthy, well supported workforce for the future.

Corey says the wellbeing workstream aims to better understand mental health in the veterinary sector and assist in delivering positive evidence-based and solutions-oriented outcomes for veterinary teams. We will base our work around the Wellbeing Framework and the Tiered Triangle of Mental Health for Veterinary Teams, but we will be flexible enough to respond to new issues as they arise.

“There are a number of wellbeing initiatives underway in the sector and we would like to see our role to bringing them together, and aid in the distribution and sharing of these resources to the wider profession,” Corey says. “There’s no one-size-fits-all approach and the wellbeing group could act as a hub.”

“It’s an opportunity to ask questions about whether our veterinary teams have the tools they need to maintain their wellbeing and find solutions that will support people. If there’s a gap, we can connect with the right people to facilitate any changes that are needed.”

Shortly, the Wellbeing Initiative will be issuing a survey to help it build a comprehensive list of resources and tools to maintain and support overall health and psychological wellbeing for all veterinary professionals.

This survey will be conducted on behalf of the entire Vet Futures Aotearoa group, including VCNZ, the Ministry of Primary Industries, the New Zealand Veterinary Association and representatives of the organisations that train veterinarians and allied veterinary professionals.

“We want to collate information about all the activities, policies, processes and resources that are already being used by veterinary teams in Aotearoa New Zealand,” Corey says. 

“We are interested in activities that support both mental and physical health – as well as what can be done in difficult times - for an individual or team.”

The survey will be distributed in 2022 and all veterinary professionals will be encouraged to complete it and pass it on to other individuals, businesses, or organisations they feel may be able to provide further suggestions or are doing great work supporting their teams already in this space.

Corey says ongoing work will be done to ensure there is fair representation on the wellbeing workstream from all parts of the veterinary sector. Anyone who is interested in being involved is encouraged to email [email protected]

As the Vet Futures wellbeing workstream gets up and running, support can be accessed via the following sites:

EBF NZVA - Veterinary wellbeing » New Zealand Veterinary Association (nzva.org.nz) 

MentorVet - NZVET Mentor Support » New Zealand Veterinary Association (nzva.org.nz)  

MPI Internal Veterinary Peer Support Group - [email protected] 

NZVA Wellbeing Hub - Wellbeing hub » New Zealand Veterinary Association (nzva.org.nz) 

NZVNA – Wellness - www.nzvna.org.nz/Members+only/wellness.html

VCNZ - Vet Health (vetcouncil.org.nz) 

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