The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) announced the THRIVE Cultivating Safe Teams pilot program at their recent conference in Adelaide.

Working with Aspect Group, a leading provider of workplace psychological health and safety solutions, the AVA will co-design and deliver the training program in-house to fifty veterinary workplaces across Australia over an 18-month period.

Dr Bronwyn Orr, President of the AVA, said the AVA is investing in this pilot program as they believe a cultural shift is needed in the veterinary profession.

“Our goal is to raise awareness of the integral responsibility we all share in preventing harm from psychosocial hazards in the industry, promoting the rewards of working in this profession and protecting all of us when we experience stress and are unwell. We want this program to flourish beyond the pilot phase and we will need the support of all veterinary stakeholders to do this.”

Participants and their workplaces will sign an industry pledge stating their commitment to cultivating a safe and mentally healthy workplace and will be provided with resources to support their training, including an industry-specific mental health and suicide prevention framework.

Orr said that the importance of psychological health and safety in the workplace cannot be underestimated.

“Mentally healthy people and workplaces are good for animal welfare, staff productivity, staff retention and individual well-being and satisfaction.”

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