Glasgow Vet School’s ‘Feel Good Feb’ was an absolute success

It was held to raise awareness and reduce stigma surrounding mental health in the profession

Last month, Glasgow Vet School held “Feel Good February” to raise awareness of mental health in their profession.

They hosted many events aimed to raise awareness, reduce stigma and encourage discussion surrounding mental health. The month was an absolute success, and The Tab Glasgow spoke to Student Body Co-Presidents Erin and Lucy to find out more.

Why did you decide to host Feel Good February?


Although notorious for partying hard, veterinary students have a heavy workload and are often left feeling stressed trying to juggle their tasks. Having to do unpaid placements in our holidays puts the strain on us as often we don’t have the time to relax or get a summer job. Having little time or money for relaxing, holidays or travelling makes for a busy and stressful year, which only seems to get worse as we move up through vet school. We’ve become more and more aware of the problems poor mental wellbeing is causing within the veterinary community, and in particular at our level as students.

What events did you host during the month?

From movie nights to massages and our annual ball to dodgeball, we’ve tried to put on something fun for everyone. We’ve had “Motivation Mondays” where anonymous positive messages of encouragement from students have been spread around campus, and “Tea Tuesdays” have made stressful days a bit more bearable with free tea, coffee and cakes. Our “Throwback Thursday” lunchtimes, where lecturers tell their tales of vet school and starting out in practice, have been a huge hit with the students, too. It’s good to see that although they look like they know what they’re doing now, they felt the same as us back in the day. We also hosted a “Feel Good 5k” which proved really popular.

What’s been the aim of the month for you?

The aim of the month was to create a positive vibe around campus, while raising awareness for mental wellbeing. The idea was to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and to encourage students to chat to friends and to speak up if they’re struggling. One of the phrases we based the campaign on was “How you doing?”. Many students will answer that every day with “Yes, I’m fine” when they’re maybe not. Hopefully with support, students can look out for each other more and feel able to say “Actually, no I’m not good today, I’m really stressed, I’m feeling worried – can we have a chat?”.

How many vet students at Glasgow feel as if their mental health is affected?

We wanted to gauge the problems at the level of Glasgow itself, so sent out a survey to get some basic figures. A staggering 61 per cent said they felt their stress levels had a negative impact on everyday life. We also asked the question: “Is it perceived as normal to be stressed at vet school?” to which 89 per cent said yes. We’re questioning if this perception actually makes it worse – do students feel weak if they can’t cope with the pressure of studying? Does this stop them reaching for help?

How do you feel now such a successful month is over?

It has been amazing and enlightening to watch the message spread across campus via staff and students, and the turnout to our “Feel Good 5k” around the Garscube Campus a couple of weekends ago was huge considering the hurricane that was hovering over Glasgow. We finished off the month with a Feel Good February dodgeball tournament held on campus with entries from various years and sports teams, which Men’s Rugby won. The support on all levels has been unbelievable and it’s powerful to watch the veterinary community pull together at Glasgow to tackle issues that have, or will, effect everyone in some way throughout their life – be it a friend, family member or themselves. Even if the campaign has only helped one student speak up, we know it has been worthwhile.

Erin and Lucy also featured on STV’s Live at Five show which you can watch here.

You can watch the Feel Good Feb video here.