Following increased concern about the well-being and health of veterinary professionals, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) have announced a dedicated “Wellbeing Zone” at its 2022 BSAVA Congress.
Responding to some of the concerns in the industry about managing time and the pressure of high workloads, delegates will have the chance to learn new well-being techniques, clever tools and apps and networks for support at the all-new Wellbeing Zone. The event, which will take place in Manchester from 24 to 26 March, will bring together over 12 months of planning and deliver a zone packed with hands-on activities, informal discussions, workshops and presentations.
Ruth Cawston, MA, VetMB, will look at “how doing less can help you do more”, using pacing, a technique that helps those with health issues manage their symptoms and reduce “boom and bust” cycles of under- and over-activity. The process allows individuals to reflect and adjust the needs of their body and understand its limitations.
Active Allyship, joined by British Veterinary Chronic Illness Support (BVCIS), British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society (BVEDS) and British Veterinary LGBT+ (BVLGBT+), will discuss how to “support your colleagues in difficult situations”, using an interactive role play model to explore how to respond when you face discrimination in practice.
The Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) will deliver three campfire chats as part of the Wellbeing Zone. These campfire chats offer a chance for the profession to share their thoughts about leadership and diversity, flexible working, systems and process, innovation following the pandemic and what should the sector “bin” in a safe and confidential space. A further open conversation about “neurodiversity – different not less” will explain what neurodiversity is, why we need to think about it and how it affects one of the sectors biggest assets: its people.
Looking at what you eat and how it makes you feel will be covered in “feeding a busy person”, asking the important questions about the nutritional value of the food, often consumed at pace due to time and energy limitations.
“Energy saving life hacks” will demonstrate how to work smarter, not harder, with speakers who have experienced living with energy-limiting chronic illnesses. There will also be early morning yoga and breathing exercise demonstrations, giving delegates a chance to take some time out from an exciting and jam-packed Congress programme.
Commenting on the new Wellbeing Zone, sponsored by IDEXX, BSAVA President Sheldon Middleton highlighted why it was so important to include this area in the programme. “Over the last two years, we have seen increased pressure on veterinary practices,” he said. “Just last year, research by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons demonstrated veterinary professionals have seen an 80 percent increase in workload and, subsequently, 65 percent have felt real conflict between their well-being and professional role.
“We felt it was vital we responded to our members needs with support and guidance, and what better time, than at one of the largest annual small animal conferences in Europe, the BSAVA Congress.
“In collaboration with MMI, BCVIS, VetLife, BVEDS, BVLGBT+ and BVA, the Wellbeing Zone will provide a safe space where delegates can reflect and learn, taking home some new skills and thinking to support their personal wellbeing and that of their colleagues.”
The Wellbeing Zone, sponsored by IDEXX, is part of the 2022 BSAVA Congress, taking place from 24 to 26 March 2022 at Manchester Central and online. You can find out more about the event and book a ticket on the Congress website.