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Veterinary pactice - Vets examine dog in surgery

From one vet to another

Darren Humphrey recounts his experience in supporting VetLife's members mental heath needs.

Darren Humphrey is a Senior Clinician for the Vetlife Health Support team. Prior to his role with VHS, Darren completed a successful 29 years in the Royal Navy, where he was the Senior Nursing Officer for Royal Navy Mental Health and Specialist Nurse Advisor. With a professional background in Occupational Mental Health, he has specialist qualifications in the management of psychosis and trauma, and has training in EMDR, CBT and Solution Focused Therapy.

"When I tell people that I work with Vets in supporting their mental health, the immediate assumption is that I mean Military Veterans. I then must explain that I work with members of the veterinary profession, including nurses, admin staff and vets, it is often received with a mixture of surprise and disbelief.

Working with VHS has given me a greater appreciation of the demands faced by those who work or have worked within the Veterinary profession. From the financial pressures of running a business and meeting clinical targets, to the newly qualified vet on call. The pressures of exams, and the exacting standards of others and themselves. Striving for perfection, whilst facing extremes of human emotion. From sadness, to anger and back again all within a morning's surgery".

Read BVA - Mental Health Awareness Week: From one vet to another