Welcome to our project that hopes to provide knowledge that is needed to be able to support and care for our practitioners, who take care of us, our families and our animals.
Members of healthcare professions have to cope with working in a profession that has a reputation for a level of psychological distress that is so high it places them at a risk of suicide above other professions and the general population. Despite evidence of a higher risk of suicide in professions where the practitioner’s role requires caring for clients, there is a lack of research into its underlying causes.
We have developed a PhD research project at Murdoch University that aims to provide vital information on workplace factors affecting the mental health and wellbeing of practitioners. With this information we hope to find practical ways to help improve practitioner mental health. This website has been created to help make it easy for you to contribute to this research and stay in touch with our findings. Thank you for your support!
Participate in our current research
This study has been approved by the Murdoch University Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval 2015/156). If you have any reservation or complaint about the ethical conduct of this research, and wish to talk with an independent person, you may contact Murdoch University’s Research Ethics Office (Tel. 08 9360 6677 or e-mail email@example.com). Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated fully, and you will be informed of the outcome.
Healthcare professions such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary practice have all been shown to have elevated rates of psychological distress and suicide when compared to the general population (Bartram & Baldwin, 2010; Beyond Blue, 2013; Jones-Fairnie, Ferroni, Silburn, & Lawrence, 2008). The relationship between occupation and suicide risk, however, is complex.
The current research project has the potential to provide the veterinary profession with much needed knowledge in the areas of psychological distress in their profession; levels of suicide risk and potential causes; and how workplace empathy affects practitioner relationships with colleagues and clients. This knowledge can then be applied to all practitioners with a caring role for clients, including veterinarians, doctors and dentists.
It is anticipated there will be important practical contributions which include:
(1) Informing veterinary practitioners on suicide risk.
(2) Wider application of findings to professions involving a caring role by practitioners e.g., doctors, nurses, dentists, veterinary nurses.
(3) Guidance on structuring suicide early prevention strategies for practitioners.
(4) Developing empathy training to facilitate colleague and client interactions, leading to improved staff relationships and greater client satisfaction.