The coronavirus outbreak is having a profound impact on society, including the veterinary industry. As we meet the challenges the outbreak poses, Rosie Allister, Vetlife Helpline Manager, reminds us to look after ourselves and those around us.
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What can we do for ourselves?
Ways we can look after ourselves include:
Maintaining social connections despite physical distance;
Limiting our use of news media to trusted sources and two checks a day; and
Keeping structure and routine.
We also need to remember self care, sleep, rest, nutrition and hydration. And, where we can, to focus on things we can control to help us manage anxiety and uncertainty.
What can workplaces do?
A sense of control is important for workplace support too. Employers and management can:
Plan, reassure and communicate;
Offer extra support to managers and leaders who are making the plans and facing organisational pressures;
Stay visible – even if remotely – and available; and
Plan regular debriefs throughout the day if staff are working more remotely than usual.
Those in management positions can provide regular update bulletins. Bulletins should be prompt and consistent – a daily bulletin may be better than a constant drip feed through the day – and, where possible, it is better to wait for certainty and decisions before communicating information.
Workplaces can also promote peer support and a culture of it being OK to say that you are not OK
Workplaces can also promote peer support and a culture of it being OK to say that you are not OK.
Support from Vetlife
For individuals with underlying health conditions the coronavirus outbreak poses unprecedented challenges. Vetlife Health Support will remain open throughout the crisis, providing professional mental health support, while Vetlife Financial Support can offer grants to assist with primary living costs, such as food, shelter, utilities and basic transportation.
Our profession has supported its members through difficult and uncertain times before and we will be here for each other, and the society and animals we care for, through this.
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