HSW 96: Veterinarian Wellness with Dr Nadine Hamilton.

This week we’re chatting with Dr Nadine Hamilton, a psychologist, author and leading authority in veterinary wellbeing based on the Gold Coast.  She is the owner of Positive Psych Solutions, a boutique psychology practise that specialises in supporting the health and wellbeing of veterinary and wildlife professionals, and author of the best-selling book “Coping with Stress and Burnout as a Veterinarian”. 

Nadine’s passion for the industry led her to set up Love Your Pet Love Your Vet – a registered charity designed to raise awareness about the issues within the veterinary industry.

I absolutely loved talking with Nadine in this episode – she has an absolute heart of gold and her devotion to this industry is nothing short of inspiring!

Some of the things we talk about include:

  1. Why there’s such a high incidence of burnout and suicide in the veterinarian industry.
  2. The 5 biggest driving factors contributing to these statistics based on Nadine’s doctoral research.
  3. What can be done to reduce these high suicide rates?
  4. What led Nadine to set up the charity Love Your Pet, Love Your Vet.
  5. Nadine’s Top 3 tips for coping with some of the emotional trauma currently surrounding Australia’s unprecedented bushfires.
  6. Details on a wellbeing conference coming up on March 21-22 in beautiful Kingscliff, NSW, specifically for veterinary professionals.

Links mentioned on the podcast:

Positive Psych Solutions

Love Your Pet, Love Your Vet

Reach Out Wellbeing Conference in Kingscliff, NSW:  21-22 March 2020

Is Your Brain Getting A Signal That It’s Safe To Sleep?


Going to bed stressed will make it near in possible for you to sleep, because the body is in a state of ‘fight or flight’.

This fight or flight mode sends a signal to your brain that it’s actually not safe for you to sleep. Quite simply, you need to stay awake to fight off any predators – real or imagined!

When this happens the body produces cortisol, a hormone that works in opposition to melatonin – a hormone that helps to regulate sleep.

In other words, high cortisol = low melatonin = a delay to sleep onset.

Not ideal if you’re a shift worker – especially on those tight turnaround shifts when sleep is at a premium!

It’s why implementing strategies to help you to relax prior to getting into bed, is absolutely key in helping you to fall asleep.

Audra x

Putting Our Shift Working Jobs Into Perspective.

Having grown up in rural NSW and watched my house burn to the ground when I was just 7-years old, the images that we’re seeing right now of widespread bushfires around Australia is nothing short of heartbreaking.

The sheer devastation of loss including wildlife, livestock, property, vegetation and even human life, is gut-wrenching to see.

It’s why I feel it’s fitting to give a special shout out to all the firefighters who are on the front line, risking their own lives to help others 24/7.

Here’s just a snippet as to why:

✔️ Many of these firefighters are experiencing sleep deprivation on a whole new level.
✔️ Their “shifts” are longer than anyone should ever have to work.
✔️ They are having minimal meal breaks – if any.
✔️ Many are volunteers who have also taken leave without pay 💰 from their “real” jobs.
✔️ Despite being physically and emotionally exhausted, they keep going because they don’t want to let their communities down.
✔️ They are working in an extremely dangerous and hazardous environment 🔥.
✔️ They are subjected to a level of emotional distress that no one ever wants to experience – seeing countless burned wildlife and livestock, (and in some cases, the loss of human life).
✔️ Many are also working in the community in which they live. So when a house 🏡, or heaven forbid, a life is lost, it affects them right to the core.

So please join me in sending out an enormous gratitude of thanks for all of the incredible work that they are doing.

And the next time you’re experiencing a crappy shift at work, please keep in mind what the fire fighters are currently having to endure.

It definitely puts things into perspective and why they are truly deserving of the title of “HERO” – as I’m sure you would agree.

Audra x

HSW 95 – Exercise, Mental Health and PTSD with Beck Lawther.

Today we’re talking about the benefits of exercise when it comes to managing our mental health – in particular around the topic of PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Beck Lawther, a Police Officer with the Victorian Police Service based in Melbourne.

Beck is also the co-founder of Triple Zero Fit, a personal training company which runs fitness sessions specifically for first responders and emergency services personnel who are struggling with PTSD, depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

Things we chatted about:

– What led Beck to set up PT4PTSD?
– Why taking a 9-5 job for a couple of years can be a great strategy to reset our physical and mental health
– Why simply getting to the gym can feel like an insurmountable task, especially for those suffering from PTSD
– How physical exercise stimulates hormone production that improves our mental health
– How you can become a volunteer personal trainer, or utilise some of the services offered by Triple Zero Fit

Links mentioned in the podcast:
Triple Zero Fit Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/triplezerofit/
Triple Zero Fit Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/triplezerofit/
The Code 9 Foundation – https://www.code9ptsd.org.au/

Reflecting on 2019 – 3 Things

Something to ponder as another year draws to a close, and we get ready to embark on a new one.

1. Do more of what’s working
2. Stop doing what isn’t working
3. Try new things to see what does work

What new things and changes are you going to make in 2020?

Audra x