Medivet has partnered with an innovative mental wellbeing platform to help with the challenges faced by colleagues in this highly-pressurised industry.

Medivet, which runs a nationwide network of over 325 veterinary practices, has granted all of its colleagues access to 87%. The innovative digital platform empowers users to measure, understand and improve their mental health, whilst aggregating and anonymising data so that the organisation can also see trends and ensure any relevant future support is put into place. This is especially important as the company navigates the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

The stresses of the veterinary profession are well documented, with suicide rates as much as four times higher than the national average. In light of these findings, a number of initiatives have been launched in recent years to help colleagues deal with pressures, with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons among organisations that runs campaigns to offer training and support to those suffering from mental health issues.

However, Medivet is the first organisation in the industry to take this one step further by using technology to prevent mental illness. Its partnership with 87% will give all of its 3,000 vets, nurses and support colleagues access to a version of the app that has been customised with relevant content and support. Sophisticated clinical assessments, which are designed by psychologists, give users an accurate picture of their mental health across different areas of life. The results generate a unique mental fitness score, which is fed through the platform’s intelligent algorithm to provide users with personalised guidance on areas that might need improving. Those whose scores are low, indicating poor mental health, are automatically signposted to support services, such as professional care or relevant charities.

Meanwhile, this data gives Medivet deep insights into the wellbeing of colleagues, helping the organisation to identify emotional and behavioural trends or areas of concern, whilst ensuring complete confidentiality for individual users.

The app is being rolled out to all Medivet colleagues after a successful trial period by a newly established Health and Wellbeing Committee, set up in late 2020 to address wellbeing in general and prioritise the challenges of poor mental health faced by colleagues especially as a result of Covid-19. The Committee was impressed with the app’s range of articles, exercises, fitness enhancing programmes, life coaching and coping strategies, as well as a full range of professional support.

87% also has an excellent track record of supporting frontline staff, having offered free wellbeing support to over 30,000 emergency workers during the pandemic, through partnerships with medical organisations such as the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and Air Ambulances UK. Data from the app shows that wellbeing scores of users within the medical profession improved by as much as 20% in three months during some of the toughest periods of 2020.

Cat Hambleton-Gray, Head of Operational HR, has been leading the initiative to make wellbeing a priority for Medivet since a comprehensive review of the organisation’s wellbeing strategy in late 2019. She says, “A review of a number of areas provided us with valuable insight that has helped us shape a robust and industry-leading health and wellbeing strategy, designed around the needs of our colleagues. We recognise the issues that our teams are facing, especially in light of Coronavirus, and it is critical that we implement the most effective support possible to avert a mental health crisis. 87% makes wellbeing tangible for users and the business as a whole, allowing colleagues to measure their own mental fitness, make improvements and track progress and enabling Medivet as a whole to make the right decisions to support our most important asset; our people. We look forward to working with 87% to continually refine our strategy as trends and behaviours emerge from the data.”

Andy Bibby, CEO of 87%, said, “It is highly encouraging that a business as well-established and renowned as Medivet, and one that provides such a crucial role to the wellbeing of society through its invaluable work with our pets, itself sees wellbeing as more than a box-ticking exercise. We are proud that over 3,000 Medivet colleagues now have access to the app and the ability to measure, understand and improve their mental wellbeing.”

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.