Vets Campaign Update

It is now several years since we started our Vet 1,000 campaign to rally the support of the Veterinary profession, friends, family and those in the industry to support a research project that would try and address the high suicide rate within the profession and beyond. Our dear friend Mark Robinson, a vet and scientist wanted to desperately know why he had acute depression and there were no answers. During this period we have had many people contacting us following the loss of a loved one through suicide and they too would like to have some answers in the future.

The campaign began with a walk and with Vets flying in from as far afield as Colorado we raised £18,000. There have been many challenges raising money and the standing orders of £10 per month are growing slowly. We have tried to network and involve Veterinary practices large and small and are now approaching large Veterinary companies. 

The World Veterinary congress was held over four days in Birmingham in 2012 and trustee Ann Dickinson with Pam Mosedale, a well-known Vet in the profession approached over 30 practices and companies for their support. We are grateful to Vets Now, the national out of hours service, for their generous contribution and a certain Mr Norbet from Austria who recognised the problem within his own country. We are still in negotiation with some companies and chasing others. The enthusiasm is there but the wheels turn very slowly in these large organisations. 

I had a letter published online by Vetinary Record


FURTHER to the letters from Reg Godwin (VR, September 1, 2012, vol 171, p 225) and David Bee (VR, September 15, 2012, vol 171, p 279) about the elevated suicide risk among vets, I would urge the profession to support our campaign for scientific research in this area.

Following the loss of a dear friend and well respected vet, Mark Robinson, nearly three years ago, I became a trustee of Mental Health Research UK (MHRUK), a charity dedicated to the research of mental health issues. Knowing the statistics regarding vets and suicide I have been working to raise funds towards a research programme that will benefit our profession in the long term.
Our aim is also to remove the stigma of mental illness and research its causes to develop much better treatments.

If you have been affected by depression and suicide in any way please join our campaign and help us fund the vital research which is needed now and not tomorrow.

Ann Dickinson
Trustee, Mental Health Research UK