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MMI Invites Veterinary Professionals to Become Mental Health First Aid Champions

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This coming January, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is offering veterinary professionals the chance to become Mental Health First Aid Champions by subsidising a training course led by Mental Health First Aid England.

The courses, which will allow delegates to qualify as Mental Health First Aid Champions, will be partially subsidised by MMI and led by Mental Health First Aid England, which offers expert guidance and training to support mental health in the workplace and beyond.

The first session will take place on Tuesday 9 January 2024 and the second on Thursday 11 January 2024. Both will take place online from 9am–5pm, cost £40 per person, and are open to all those working in the veterinary profession.

Advancement of the Professions and Mind Matters Director, Angharad Belcher, said: “We have been working alongside Mental Health First Aid for a couple of years now to provide subsidised training for the veterinary professions and have received fantastic feedback.

“This day-long training session will help people gain an understanding of what mental health is and how to challenge stigma, gain the knowledge and confidence to advocate for mental health awareness, provide them with the ability to spot the signs of mental ill health and the skills to support positive wellbeing, as well as give people the confidence to support someone who is in distress or may be experiencing a mental health issue.

“While these sessions are open to all working in the veterinary profession, we are particularly encouraging vets working in rural areas or in ambulatory work to get involved. All veterinary work has its challenges, but we know from MMI funded research conducted by Scotland’s Rural College that rural and ambulatory veterinary work comes with its own set of challenges, which is often compounded by working alone or having relatively limited contact with colleagues. Those working in rural areas often play integral roles within their local communities and it is therefore important to provide people with the skills to not only look after their own mental health, but with the opportunities to learn how to best support their friends and colleagues too.”

For more information on the Mental Health First Aid Champion training course and to book your place, visit the Mind Matters training page.

If you are currently experiencing mental health challenges, there are many sources of support which you can reach out to: Vetlife is there for you 24/7 and can be reached on: 0303 040 2551, Samaritans also provide 24/7 support and can be reached on 116 123 or by emailing jo@samaritans.org. You can also contact your local GP or call NHS 111. If you are in crisis ring 999 or visit your local A&E department.

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