Technology for the Mind: Five Types of Technology to Help Alleviate Stress

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Jack Peploe
Veterinary IT Expert
May 3, 2022

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Veterinarians have a lot to look forward to in their work. Caring for animals, though, can be both physically and mentally demanding.

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Several studies have shown that veterinary workers have significant depression, stress, and anxiety levels. Three to four times as many veterinary surgeons in the United Kingdom commit suicide as the overall population. Suicide can have a terrible impact on loved ones, friends, and co-workers. There is nothing more tragic than a suicide death, and the grief felt by those left behind can endure a lifetime. The suicide rate of veterinary nurses is unknown. However, certain elements of their employment suggest that they may also be in danger of taking their own lives.

What Contributes to Mental Health Issues in the Veterinary Field?

The veterinary field comes alongside a few severe stressors and tends to draw certain personality traits. Here are a few of the reasons the veterinarian field seems to struggle with mental health:

Demands of the Job

Mental health problems are more common in veterinary professionals for various reasons.

The long, frequently antisocial work hours, excessive workloads, poor work-life balance, and challenging client relationships are just some of the issues many people face in their jobs.

Common Veterinarian Traits

When things aren't going well, you may draw certain personality types to the position because of the nature of the work. As a result, veterinarians tend to have personalities demanding combinations of perfectionists, caretakers, and doers.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that high-flying, ambitious individuals are more likely to succeed in veterinary school because of its rigorous admissions process.

If their practice isn't ideal or their patients don't recover as quickly as they expected, they're extremely self-critical.

Thus, they are less likely to seek help if they are experiencing symptoms of mental illness.

Euthanasia

Another difficulty is the necessity of performing euthanasia frequently.

Repetitive euthanasia of animals has gotten linked to the development of PTSD in some studies.

Initiatives to Combat Mental Health Issues in the Veterinary Field

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons started its Mind Matters program in 2014 to help and support veterinarians who were struggling with mental health issues.

The Vetlife Helpline (0303 040 2551) is supported by the project as an effective method for sector workers to get confidential assistance rather than having to leave a message when they phone.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many veterinarians suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts.

An employee support program or a grief counsellor might be helpful for employees who need to talk about work-related challenges or losses or need a private, confidential place to vent. All employees should have access to materials educating them about depression and other mental diseases.

Having fun together as a team outside of work is also encouraged. Our co-workers often get seen to be agitated, and it may be great to communicate with them in a less stressful situation where interruptions and ringing phones are less probable. Even if you're representing the hospital, go to an event together as a team. In the beginning, this may seem awkward, but it creates a more open and trusting environment for team members to openly express their thoughts and opinions.

 

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Five Types of Technology to Help Improve Mental Well-Being and Reduce Stress

Many people believe that technology has played a large role in causing them to feel overwhelmed. Our dependence on technology has spoiled us. We've gotten used to expecting everything to get done these days swiftly since that's what technology has enabled us to accomplish so easily. As a result, some say that technology has produced more stress than benefits. Those who know how to take advantage of technology's beneficial attributes, on the other hand, can attest to the fact that it may ease tension.

Meditation Apps

You can purchase meditation apps to assist in alleviating stress. With high success rates, meditation is largely accepted as an effective way to reduce stress and help you relax. But, before meditation apps became easily accessible, effective meditation sessions required an expensive guide to help you reach a meditative state. Nowadays, you can easily download a meditation app directly on your phone or laptop giving you a way to relieve stress no matter where you are.

Wearable Technology: Stress Relief Bracelet

You can alleviate depression and anxiety in large part by directly addressing sleep habits and focusing on specific feelings. You can wear a stress relief bracelet either around your wrist or ankle. The bracelet helps calm down its wearers using gently calming vibrations along the wrist or ankle. Unlike most other wearables, this one benefits users' mental well-being and physical health.

Self-Management Apps

The term "self-management" refers to how a user enters data into an app to receive feedback from the app. For example, a user could utilize the software to construct stress, anxiety, or sleep problem management solutions. Some applications can employ additional equipment to track heart rate, breathing patterns, blood pressure, etc., and may let the user track progress and get input.

Mental Health Management Apps

By allowing the user to engage with another human being, mental health management apps provide additional support. If a trained health care provider is available, the app may be able to give advice and therapy alternatives to the user. Researchers are trying to figure out how much human interaction people require for app-based treatments to be effective.

Google Depression Screening

Google and the National Alliance on Mental Illness have teamed up to create a new program accessible to anyone. Mobile device users who search "depression" are shown an informational "knowledge panel" with information on depression symptoms, remedies, and more. You can also take the self-assessment quiz to check if you suffer from depression. Despite its limitations, the test can help determine whether or not someone is clinically depressed and if so, suggest that they seek medical attention.

Conclusion

Depression in veterinary medicine is, without a doubt, on the rise. Fortunately, by working together and supporting one another, we can defeat it. People suffering from depression should take care of themselves and others around them.

Overall, the greatest method to raise employee knowledge of mental health and guarantee that they are taking care of themselves is not to dismiss the situation. Individual and group discussions should get held on mental health issues, and resources should be made available to all employees. You may reduce staff turnover, treatment errors/oversights, employee compliance with corporate regulations may increase, and you may even improve customer satisfaction. People in the area of veterinary medicine are what make it amazing.

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