Mental health help for wildlife volunteers
Being a wildlife volunteer can be very confronting and stressful at times. It is vital to look after your wellbeing to enable you to look after wildlife.
Wildlife volunteers’ mental health may be affected by many things associated with wildlife. It could be seeing dead animals by the side of the road and checking them for pouch young, often a sad and upsetting experience. Or you may care for wildlife and not get enough sleep at times. It can be very upsetting when an animal in your care becomes sick and or dies.
There can be sadness when transferring an animal in your care to another carer to be buddied up or when they are released, and the worry of whether they will survive in the bush. Or maybe you have a role to euthanase severely injured wildlife: a vital welfare role. You may have a heavy LAOKO workload that affects your life balance.
Whatever your roles may be with wildlife, it is important to be prioritise your mental wellbeing and take steps to address it. This could be talking to friends or family, other wildlife volunteers in LAOKO or your doctor.
Here are a few avenues that can also help:
- Free counselling sessions are being offered by WildTalk, a charity specifically established to support wildlife volunteers: https://wildtalk.org.au
- A guided self-help approach is offered by Two Green Threads, a national not-for-profit organisation also supporting wildlife volunteers: https://twogreenthreads.org/
- Two Green Threads also provides a five-step, self-paced program via email called Refill your bucket: https://refillyourbucket.org/