Vetlife is launching new guidance for veterinary workplaces affected by suicide to accompany its postvention support service.
Vetlife supports the veterinary community through three support services: Helpline, Health Support, and Financial support. The charity has also provided postvention support to the veterinary community since 2009 with a combination of public health and crisis management approaches coupled with lived and peer experience.
After a veterinary suicide, families and close friends, workplaces and communities need support. Suicide postvention is the response and provision of support after a suicide. It aims to support recovery and prevent further adverse outcomes in the aftermath, including the prevention of additional deaths by suicide.
This new guidance is intended for people who have been affected by the suicide of a veterinary professional, people who support those who have been affected, and for managers and leaders in veterinary workplaces who are working to prevent suicide.
The guidance has information about suicide bereavement and suicide postvention. It focuses on support including responses to suicide loss and who can help. In particular, it examines veterinary workplace considerations after a suicide, including the immediate aftermath and longer-term consequences. The guidance also covers communication, including talking both with colleagues and clients; and publicly on social media and elsewhere.
It finishes with a checklist of actions for veterinary workplaces affected by suicide considering immediate, short-term, and ongoing actions for support and postvention.
As well as providing this guidance, Vetlife can provide individualised support to practices and individuals who have experienced a suicide through our Postvention Service. If you are a UK veterinary professional who has been affected by suicide or wants support for a veterinary workplace, please contact the Vetlife Helpline on 0303 040 2551.
The Vetlife Helpline is a 24/7 365 listening service, open to all members of the profession, including students, vet nurses, and non-clinical staff, for confidential support. If you need to talk or are worried about someone, please call or share information about Vetlife Helpline on 0303 040 2551 or email via www.vetlife.org.uk
You can download the guidance on the Vetlife website.