The Vet Space Journal

Vet Support Ireland

Vet Support Ireland | May 19th, 2021

Supporting each other particularly after the challenging times of 2020/2021

 

So here we are after a year’s long hard gestation, ready to emerge from lockdown with the wobbly optimism of a new foal or perhaps the blind confusion of a neonate pup!

Much has been said and written about the trials of covid, lockdown and their attendant problems for our colleagues and clients alike.

 

While most of us have made our way through the uncertainty we faced last year, there has still been no shortage of stressors in our lives since the first coronavirus particle made its zoonotic leap from the wet marts of Wuhan to the workplaces and wards of the west.

As we patiently wait for the go ahead for life to slowly return to normal, a myriad of new questions present themselves.

  • How long will relaxations last?
  • I’m worried that the vaccine may not be safe.
  • I’m not happy that my boss wants to allow clients back in the building- how can I tell him?
  • I’m worried how I’ll cope with changing my whole consulting routine again.
  • I’m young and unvaccinated- is it safe to see my granny?
  • I’m a bit older and am worried about meeting my grandchildren again.
  • My colleagues have been furloughed and I haven’t had a day off in a year. I’m feeling stressed but I don’t want to be seen as a complainer.
  • I’ve been sitting at home for months, unable to go anywhere and am apprehensive about returning to the ‘outside world’.
  • I just feel overwhelmed with everything at the moment and can’t see any way forward.

 

Sometimes it is important to know that it’s ok not to be ok and to realise that you’re not alone and the persistent little voice of doubt and anxiety in your mind at 3am is part of a choir that’s nagged us all at one time or another.

At Vet Support Ireland, we provide a listening ear and offer you a safe and confidential space to share your anxieties with a peer. You can contact someone just like you who has probably been there before but who has been trained to support you with whatever is worrying you. Our supporters are vets and nurses of different ages and stages, principals and employees and from practice and government.

For the past four years, we have been helping colleagues in the North of Ireland and extended our service to offer support to our colleagues across the whole island of Ireland in 2019. We are here to help you find ways through anxiety and overwhelm. Our support is free and confidential and can be given by email, phone, facetime/zoom or whatever suits you. We have helped with problems big and small, personal and professional and provide support to all members of the veterinary family, whatever your job role may be. We provide you with the tools to minimize those feelings of overwhelm, to stay calm and to find a way forward. We will support you and hold you accountable for as long as you need us to.

With the restrictions on face-to-face contact, we have been delivering workshops via Zoom to groups of staff within practices and other workplaces and have held a few webinars to everyone in Ireland over the last few months. Many have found the workshops extremely helpful and we would encourage you to get in touch if you would like us to present to you and your team of colleagues.

 

Most of all, we encourage you to reach out if you need support or a listening ear.

We can be contacted initially via email at info@vetsupportni.co.uk. However, you can visit our website www.vetsupport.ie and have a look at the biographies of the individual support volunteers. Sometimes you may feel that you would relate more to one of the volunteers specifically given their area of work or stage in their career, then you can reach out to them directly. All of the supporters individual email addresses are available on the website.

 

We are here and willing to support or signpost and provide a safe, empathetic, non-judgemental listening ear.

 

We would particularly like to make it clear that ALL communication with ANY volunteer at Vet Support Ireland comes with guaranteed confidentiality. Nothing which is ever discussed with any of the supporters will ever be shared or repeated. We operate a strictly confidential service.

 

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