MMI to offer free mental health training for student vets and vet nurses

The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) has announced a new programme of fully-funded Mental Health First Aid training, which will be delivered in partnership with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England.

One of MMI’s key areas of focus is the mental health and wellbeing of students, and the new training programme follows on from previous student mental health work, which includes surveys into the mental health and wellbeing of student VNs and a wellbeing discussions forum; a day-long event of research presentations and talks about a range of areas of student VN mental health.

Participants taking part in the training will need to attend one day of online training and one day of face-to-face training, with all sessions fully funded by MMI. Everyone taking part in the training will learn how to spot the signs that mean someone could be struggling with their mental health, how to support someone who is dealing with a mental health issue and how to embed a culture of mental wellbeing across their vet school and future workplace. Everyone who completes the training will receive a mental health qualification and a certificate to confirm they have completed the course.

Taking place throughout August, the training sessions are being held in cities across the UK to make the in-person training days as accessible as possible. The upcoming training dates and locations are:

Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters Initiative Manager, said: “Students are key to ensuring the veterinary professions continue to have passionate and dedicated vets and vet nurses joining the workforce. It’s vital that we help students to look after their own mental health and teach them how to look out for the wellbeing of their fellow students and future colleagues, and we’re pleased to be expanding our current Mental Health First Aid training programme to students.

“We hope that by providing mental health training for students, and equipping them with wellbeing skills before they start work, we will encourage the next generation of veterinary professionals to champion mental wellbeing in the workplaces, which will help to encourage vet teams that are increasingly supportive and welcoming.”    

Alison Speakman, BSAVA President, said: “BSAVA are delighted to be able to support the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative mental health first aid training courses for students. We are looking forward to holding a course at our Woodrow House headquarters to equip students with the skills to become valuable Mental Health First Aiders within their peer groups and future workplaces.”

Anyone wishing to attend the training can book their place on the training area of the Mind Matters Initiative website https://www.vetmindmatters.org/training/

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