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What happened to Vetanswers? Well...

Posted in Our Community @ Nov 20th 2017 - By Judy Gillespie, Vetanswers
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Why has our veterinary community been so quiet?

First up – I’m so sorry for seemingly disappearing for such an extended period.  

I realised I may have to take a break for a few weeks but didn’t realise it would stretch out for as long as it has. But I really needed to do what I needed to do.  

And I also think it’s important to explain what it is I needed to do. 

You see my beautiful, vibrant, awesome friend of over 30 years has been suffering severe depression for eight months and devastatingly attempted to take her life twice over 5 days, the second attempt landing her in hospital with serious injuries. Her husband, also a dear friend is also unfortunately suffering from depression and apart from being understandably distressed was also struggling to manage to situation. So, what I needed to do was stop everything and concentrate on both them and their family. 

I knew I couldn’t devote the time and energy to such a complex situation and keep up with Vetanswers without impacting on my own health – so I decided to focus on them. 

I have no knowledge or experience of mental health personally, apart from what I’ve read and shared with our veterinary community so it’s been a challenge for so many reasons. But she’s getting the best care and I have no doubt that both her, her husband and their family will be ok although the journey to full health will be long. 

So, if you feel that things aren’t quite ‘right’ with someone you know or work with and you’re concerned they may be suicidal then here are some things you can do from the Mental Health First Aid Course run by Rosie Overfield through the AVA (and thanks to Cathy Warburton for the input).

  • Ask them directly. Have you considered suicide? Have you decided how you would do it? Have you decided when you would do it? 
  • If they say yes, do not leave them alone.
  • Tell them that you care about them and want to help
  • Link them into professional help (lifeline 24 hour counselling – 131114, suicide call back service 1300 659 467). 

Mental illness can be complicated, challenging and different for everyone but mostly treatable. 

Just one more thing. If you’re the support person for someone going through mental health challenges please look after yourself – it can be a really tough and stressful time. Make sure you have people you can talk to, take whatever breaks you need, don't take on too much (sorry Vetanswers), keep up your exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep. The last thing the people around you need is you also becoming unwell. 

Thank you for still being an important part of the Vetanswers Community and please bear with me while I work to get things back to normal.


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