The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) announced a new series of its popular Campfire Chats, the series of informal discussions on matters related to veterinary health and well-being that was successfully launched and ran for two series last year.
Launching to coincide with Mind’s Time to Talk Day on 3rd February 2022, a day that encourages people to talk openly with friends and family about mental health, the new series comprises six online discussions throughout the spring, covering everything from diversity to creativity to identity. The upcoming programme of events is as follows:
Celebrating diversity: Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 7pm to 8pm
This discussion is chaired by Gurpreet Gill, RCVS Leadership & Inclusion Manager, on the UN’s Zero Discrimination Day. Panel members Lacey Pitcher RVN, Dr Olivia Anderson-Nathan MRCVS and Samantha Payne RVN, will be discussing what celebrating diversity means to people, exploring how this links to mental health, and sharing their thoughts on why – and how – the professions should be working towards greater inclusivity, both in and out of the workplace.
The joy of creativity: Monday, 21st March 2022, 7pm to 8pm
This discussion will look at why creativity is so important for people’s lives and how it can support mental health and well-being with a panel comprising Dr Silvia Janksa MRCVS and Olivia Oginska MRCVS.
Overcoming self-doubt and stressing out: Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 7pm to 8pm
timed to coincide with the start of Stress Awareness Month in April; this discussion will consider the leading causes of stress in the veterinary workforce and how this may have shifted throughout the pandemic. The discussion will encompass coping strategies, how stress can be channelled more constructively, and overcoming feelings of self-doubt.
Identity – who am I away from work? Thursday, 21st April 2022, 7pm to 8pm
With the multi-layered nature of identity in mind, this discussion will consider the extent to which veterinary professionals should let their careers define them, the importance of understanding oneself in and out of a work setting, and how people can learn to value, accept, and accept, accept, and accept, and appreciate their whole selves.
Saying goodbye, letting go and learning to grow: Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 7pm to 8pm
This discussion will consider how best to cope with the various types of loss encountered in an individual’s professional and personal life and learn, adapt and grow from these losses.
Tackling loneliness in a hyperconnected world: Thursday, 12th May 2022, 7 pm to 8 pm
This event occurs during Mental Health Awareness Week. This year’s theme is loneliness – its mental health impact and how the pandemic has exacerbated it. This Campfire Chat will discuss why meaningful connection and having a sense of belonging matters and how individuals and communities can tackle loneliness in a hyperconnected world.
Angharad Belcher, director of the Mind Matters Initiative, commented: ‘We are very glad to be launching this new series of Campfire Chats on Time for Talk Day. Our topics for this year are based on the ideas received from previous attendees. We all lead busy professional and personal lives, and sometimes it means that self-care, which includes talking to others about how we’re feeling and about issues that we find important to us, can fall by the wayside.’
‘Our Campfire Chats offer a perfect opportunity – and excuse – to take a bit of time out of your schedule to engage in a structured but informal discussion about all manner of subjects, expertly led by a chair and panel with experience, lived and otherwise, on the topic being talked about.’
‘These events are for the whole veterinary team, we keep the sessions very informal, and there is also the opportunity to share or ask questions of the panel. If you’ve not attended before then, please sign up, and if you have, then we look forward to welcoming you back.’
The members of the professions can sign up for the first session of the new series of Campfire Chats. More information about the later events will be available when details are confirmed. Contact Abi Hanson, Mind Matters Initiative officer, for further details about the events.