Davies mindful of World Mental Health Day
Davies Veterinary Specialists
HR, Veterinary Medicine
9th October 2020
Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies), the multi-specialist small animal referral hospital based in Hertfordshire, is embracing World Mental Health Day by encouraging team members to step up to the challenge of walking to enhance wellbeing.
Mental health issues are disproportionately high within the veterinary profession and stress in the workplace has been undoubtedly heightened by pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Davies already has a team of seven Mental Health First Aiders on call to support any colleagues in need. To highlight World Mental Health Day and encourage walking and talking they have introduced a 10,000 Steps team challenge.
“Walking is just one of the ways we can keep our body and minds healthy during this difficult time,” said Mental Health First Aider and member of the Davies Human Resources team Verity Patch. “Walking briskly can help you burn excess calories so maintaining a healthy weight. It helps to prevent health conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure. It also has a positive impact on our mental health, which is so important. “
Davies is hoping everyone will sign up for the 10,000 steps challenge, which will run for four weeks with teams of eight competing against each other to win a prize. The practice is also encouraging colleagues to participate in daily wellbeing sessions, including interval training and a mindfulness programme, in conjunction with healthcare partner Vitality.
Last year Davies signed up to The Charter for Employees who are Positive about Mental Health, which is a voluntary agreement seeking to support employers in working within the spirit of its positive approach. The Charter is one element of the MINDFUL EMPLOYER initiative which is aimed at increasing awareness of mental health in the workplace and supporting businesses in recruiting and retaining staff.
Davies has also formed a partnership with Letchworth Healthy Living Centre, to give employees access to face-to-face counselling. All heads of service have attended mental health awareness training and employees all have access to Employee Assistance Programmes and private healthcare with discounted health checks.
“Commitment to high standards and dedication to patient care can lead to long working hours,” said Mark Goodfellow, Vet and Mental Health First Aider. “Couple this with sick patients, distressed clients and end of life decision-making and the outcome can be feelings of failure, hopelessness and compassion fatigue. Simply taking time to walk and share experiences with a colleague can be an unburdening in itself. A problem shared with the right person is a problem halved.”
Linnaeus Veterinary Limited trading as Davies Veterinary Specialists 01582 883950
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