Farming News: Veterinary support service sees increase in demand
VetLife – a charity which provides support to members of the UK veterinary community and their families who have emotional, health or financial concerns – reported an increase in demand for all three of its services in 2022.
Vetlife provides a 24/7 confidential helpline which is open to all members of the veterinary community, including vet nurses, students, and other practice non-clinical staff.
The helpline received 3,503 contacts in 2022, up 3.3% from the previous year’s 3,390.
The charity also delivers award-winning mental health care through its health support service, which saw a 15.5% rise in referrals in 2022.
Most markedly, the Vetlife financial support service received a 236% hike in applications in 2022.
According to a spokesperson, factors such as a greater awareness of the support available and the cost-of-living crisis have contributed to this notable uplift.
Additionally, due to an update to its Articles of Association in mid-2022, the charity is now also able to consider applications for financial help from veterinary nurses where previously only veterinary surgeons and their dependants were eligible.
The increasing level of requests for supportive financial assistance has led to a need for Vetlife to employ a further staff member to process applications and for the charity to call on the veterinary community for yet further help in support of its work.
About its services
This offers confidential emotional support by phone or anonymous email via the website.
Support is provided by trained volunteers, vets, VNs, and others who have knowledge of the veterinary profession. It is a completely confidential, non-judgmental listening service which gives people time and space to talk. Callers are provided with access to specialist help where appropriate.
Vetlife Financial Support
This provides financial and other assistance to veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, and their dependents in the form of regular monthly grants or one-time special gifts. Professional advice on issues such as debt and State benefits may also be funded.
For younger people, this support can mean homes not being repossessed or enablement to deal with their physical or mental health problems and a successful return to work. For the elderly or those unable to return to work, the support provides an improved quality of life.
Vetlife Health Support
How to support Vetlife
To continue to meet demand, Vetlife requires additional funding and is urging veterinary surgeons and nurses to become a ‘Friend of Vetlife’ to support the charity through small regular giving.
By choosing to give just £4.20 a month, Friends of Vetlife play a vital role in enabling Vetlife to effectively plan and offer long offer term, sustainable support to the whole veterinary community.
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