Bid to make life better for autistic vets gets funding boost
Study aims to identify common challenges
A project to try and make life in the workplace better for veterinary professionals with autism has been given a £20,000 boost.
The funding comes from the Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant, which was set up in memory of RCVS Council member Sarah Brown, who passed away in 2017.
Lead researchers, Dr Kirstie Pickles and Dr Brad Hill said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this year’s Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant.
“We are passionate about raising awareness of autism spectrum condition in the veterinary profession. Having both received a diagnosis of autism, we acknowledge that we bring many strengths to the veterinary workplace, but also experience specific challenges.
“We hope that this project will identify common challenges for autistic vets so that more focussed workplace guidance can be recommended.”
The University of Nottingham project will involve an in-depth study with 20 autistic veterinary surgeons to identify factors that contribute to either a ‘good’ or a ‘difficult’ day at work, and then develop ideas for reasonable adjustments that could improve their working day.
The research will also involve a further survey of individuals with autism spectrum condition within the wider veterinary profession, where the researchers will find out how frequently the workplace characteristics that cause a ‘good’ or a ‘difficult’ day occur, what impact they have on someone’s mental health and to gauge responses to the suggested workplace adjustments.
The Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant is awarded once a year to a research project that explores an aspect of mental health and wellbeing within the veterinary profession.
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