April 14th, 2023
World Mental Health Day
In many ways, every day is World Mental Health Day. But in a more specific way, today is World Mental Health Day, designated for the purpose of drawing attention to one of the more taboo topics that affects all of us.
In the past few years, it seems (anecdotally, at least) that there has been a shift in the way we approach mental health. The stigma is starting to lift and people are feeling more confident in opening up about how they are feeling. This has been a radical and important change which has undoubtedly helped us as a society deal with the way we approach mental health.
This year, the topic of World Mental Health Day is perhaps the most difficult of all – suicide. The ultimate extreme of mental illness manifested in the most shocking and unfathomable fashion. Of all the points to address in mental health, this is the one that people really don’t like to think about. However, we should be thinking about it, especially as it is well known that the rate of suicide in veterinary is one of the highest of any profession. This is probably due to factors such as the level of stress experienced on a daily basis, as well as the perfectionist attitude that many veterinary workers possess – it is not a profession for people who can relax too easily. Also, constantly dealing with owners who are bereaved, or animals that are suffering, is a heavy weight to carry.
We will never have all the answers to a problem this profound, but there are ways and means of ameliorating the stress that is felt on a day-to-day basis. Those who have clinical depression and suicidal feelings should of course seek professional help, but people who simply feel a low, continuous sense of lethargy and despondency, people who have lost the enthusiasm for life they once had and want to get it back, may benefit from self-help. We have a few different courses which are professionally designed to help you find a more positive balance in your life. Utilising scientific concepts drawn from psychotherapy and studies of human behaviour, these courses can teach you new insights that can enable you to take control of your inner mental processes and direct yourself away from depressive thoughts and find new agency in your life.