A veterinary surgeon who turned to meditation in a time of need is now sharing its health and wellbeing benefits with colleagues.
Meditation helps Angie Barca in a range of ways. It helps her to relax, stay focused and has a positive impact on her health and wellbeing.
Now, the Italian-born vet has introduced classes at her practice, Best Friends Veterinary Group in Spalding, and invited everyone from the company to attend.
Angie, who moved to the UK to work as a vet surgeon in 2002, said: “Meditation really helped me get through a lot of issues in my personal life and I have continued to practice it for a number of years now experiencing a range of meditation styles.
“I would like to make a real difference for people working in our industry as I know meditation and mindfulness really works and can help you to be happier and have improved general wellbeing.
“This gives us the strength to deal with any frustration, stress or anxiety and gain a more positive outlook in our daily life.”
This comes at a time when record numbers of veterinary professionals are reaching out for help within the industry. Over the past five years, contact with the 24/7 confidential support service Vetlife Helpline has risen by 500%.
Common reasons why veterinary professionals contact the helpline are mental health concerns, workplace stress and employment and career issues.
Angie has completed three years of’ counselling training based on mindfulness techniques.
Angie hosts sessions at the practice in Spalding but also travels to Best Friends’ other practices in the region including in Wisbech and March.
General Manager for Best Friends Veterinary Group, Richard Brooks, said: “This is a fantastic initiative that Angie is driving forward. The veterinary profession is exciting and rewarding but it can be challenging too.
“As a group, we offer health and wellbeing support to all our employees and Angie’s kind offer to use her own free time to provide an additional resource is commendable.”
Best Friends Veterinary Group is part of VetPartners, which is made up of small animal, equine and production animal veterinary practices across the UK.
VetPartners has a central Wellbeing Group to provide employees with an extra avenue of support for mental health, happiness and wellbeing.
The group holds regular meetings at VetPartners’ headquarters in York and has set up initiatives, including a toilet door poster campaign to provide helpline numbers and contacts for employees who need support.