Home Mental Health & Well-Being MMI to mark Mental Health Awareness Week with Movement and Mental Health Campfire Chat

MMI to mark Mental Health Awareness Week with Movement and Mental Health Campfire Chat

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The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is set to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (13–19 May 2024) with a Campfire Chat special based on this year’s theme of “Movement: Moving more for our mental health”.

The MMI campfire chats, which are currently in their fifth series, aim to bring together members of the veterinary community for an informal delve into the themes and topics that matter most to them. Open to all within the veterinary professions, these free online panel sessions offer a chance to pause, reflect and learn from each other’s experiences of navigating life, work, learning and mental health.

This Mental Health Awareness Week special will be hosted by MMI Director, Angharad Belcher, with three expert panel guests. These are:

  • Dr Jackie Hargreaves: Jackie is a senior lecturer in exercise and health psychology within the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University. She is also a Health and Care Professions Council registered health psychologist, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and a British Psychological Society chartered psychologist. Alongside her teaching, she undertakes research into how physical activity impacts on the mental health of a variety of different populations.
  • Dani Peacock RVN: Dani is an RVN and yoga teacher who believes that understanding resilience and learning how to build it on a physiological and psychological level is vital to a satisfying veterinary career. With the help of The Prince’s Trust and Yoga in Healthcare Alliance (YIHA), Dani hopes to make this dream a reality in 2024 by bringing an evidence-based course, already offered to NHS staff, to veterinary businesses and educational institutions.
  • Liz Barton MRCVS: Liz has enjoyed a varied clinical career, including mixed practice, a small animal internship, small animal practice, ECC and shelter medicine. After becoming increasingly concerned about the wellbeing challenges in the industry, Liz started the WellVet initiative to provide resources to help support the health of mind, body and soul for veterinary teams. Exercise has been key to supporting Liz’s own wellbeing, though she has had to adapt and change this over time to fit around health and life. Liz has written and spoken extensively to varied audiences on wellbeing, women’s health and parenting in the profession.

Angharad said: “We’ve got some fantastic guests lined up for our Mental Health Awareness Week Campfire Chat special, and we look forward to welcoming as many people from the veterinary community as possible.

“In the chat, we will be discussing the concept of movement and physical activity, how we can make space for movement in relation to our daily lives and routines, and why being more active, both at home and at work, can have a positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing.

“’For many of us, incorporating movement into our daily lives can be challenging. Whether this be due to time, energy or physical constraints. We are therefore keen to explore how movement can be integrated into all of our lives in an inclusive manner. All movement makes a difference, no matter how big or small. It’s about finding a balance and what works for you on an individual level.

“As with all of our campfire chats, this session is free to attend and will take place online via Zoom in order to make it as accessible as possible. So please do join us for what we hope will be a very insightful, supportive and uplifting online gathering.

“Throughout the week, we will also be sharing tips and advice on how you can help support your mental health through movement across our social media channels.”

The Movement and Mental Health Campfire Chat will take place online from 7pm to 8pm on Thursday 16 May. To book your place and find out more, please visit the dedicated Eventbrite page.

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