Mind Matters Initiative publishes online wellbeing resources to help the veterinary team during the pandemic

7 May 2020

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) will be offering a range of online resources, training and sessions in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on mental health.

Lisa Quiqley, Mind Matters Manager, commented: “Very understandably there has been a focus on the physical side of COVID-19, but, particularly as we approach Mental Health Awareness Week from Monday 18 to Friday 24 May 2020, it is important that we talk more about the impact this outbreak is having on mental health. Many of us are feeling heightened anxiety about our own health and welfare, as well as that of our friends and family. We know also that many of those with existing mental health conditions, such as anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), will be finding this a particularly challenging time.

“With this in mind, the Mind Matters Initiative has developed a number of online sessions, including a series of three new webinars and a new programme of free online reflection sessions – Reflection Time with MMI – to give members of the veterinary team an opportunity to come together, despite social distancing. Each session will have a different theme, starting with ‘Kindness’ to reflect the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week. We hope as many people as possible will join us to pause, reflect, and share stories in a safe virtual space.”

MMI Webinars

MMI is also continuing with its series of free hour-long webinars hosted by the Webinar Vet, the next three scheduled sessions will be:

  • Tuesday 12 May – Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders in Veterinary Practice: presented by Dr Rosie Allister, a veterinary mental health researcher and Manager of the Vetlife Helpline, and psychiatrist Dr Alex Thomson, who will provide an overview of the impact OCD can have on veterinary professionals, clients and their animals.
  • Tuesday 26 May – Managing mental health remotely: looking after your team and yourself during the COVID-19 pandemic: presented by Lisa Quiqley, MMI Manager, who will look at steps we can all take to look after our teams and ourselves, and how these can be implemented in the context of social distancing and remote working.
  • Monday 8 June – Anxiety, COVID-19 and You: presented by Lisa Quiqley, MMI Manager, this will focus on equipping delegates with the skills to recognise and understand anxiety, along with practical tips on how to cope with these feelings.

To sign up to any of these free webinars, visit their event page here. Webinar recordings, including previous sessions, will be made available on the Mind Matters Initiative website after the event.

Reflection Time with MMI

Reflection Time with MMI is an online, safe, facilitated space for members of the veterinary community to come together and share stories and reflections on broad themes related to the emotional aspect of their work. These sessions are aligned with the principles of Schwartz Rounds, and in particular their online Team Time sessions, which were developed in response to the COVID-19 crisis, as an alternative to face-to-face reflection. Themed Reflection Time with MMI sessions will take place as follows:

  • Kindness: Tuesday 19 May, 7.30pm-8.30pm
  • Everyday Leadership: Tuesday 26 May, 7.30pm-8.30pm
  • Support from my Team: Tuesday 2 June, 7.30pm-8.30pm

To register your interest or to view FAQs about the sessions visit the website here.

If you have any other questions, please contact Lisa Quigley, MMI Manager, on l.quigley@rcvs.org.uk