Mind Matters news: New mental health webinar series tackles serious issues affecting veterinary team wellbeing

3 March 2020

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative has organised a free series of three webinars over the next three months that will look at issues such as cyberbullying, eating disorders, and self-harm amongst the veterinary team.

Each of the one-hour webinars is hosted by The Webinar Vet and take place at 12.30pm. In order of date they are:

Thursday 26 March – Navigating online complaints and cyber-bullying: this webinar is presented by Dr Ebony Escalona MRCVS, the founder of the Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify Facebook group, with input from social media strategist Fay Schofield, and will look at the damaging effects that online complaints and cyber-bullying can have on the health and wellbeing of the veterinary team. The webinar will help take the fear out of online complaints by giving delegates the tools and techniques they can use to deal with complaints confidently; identify ways to prevent online complaints escalating; showcase ways of resolving online complaints; explain the difference between bad publicity and cyber-bullying; and give a list of practical tips to mitigate cyber-bullying when it occurs.

Tuesday 28 April – Understanding eating disorders: this webinar is presented by RCVS Mind Matters Officer Rachel Pascoe, a qualified social worker with postgraduate qualifications in mental health and cognitive behavioural therapy, and will provide an overview of the different types of eating disorders, along with detailing the physiological and psychological impacts of living with an eating disorder. The webinar will provide delegates with the tools to identify early warning signs, learn about some of the common myths and misconceptions around eating disorders, and build up a broad understanding of the barriers to recovery and how to support others who are presenting with an eating disorder.

Tuesday 19 May – Self-harm in veterinary professionals: this webinar is presented by Dr Rosie Allister MRCVS, who manages the Vetlife Helpline and is a member of the MMI Taskforce, and will look at what self-harm is, why people do it, and to understand the function of this behaviour. The webinar will look at self-harm in the veterinary world, focusing particularly on the context of the veterinary workplace; will give delegates an understanding of how to respond to concerns about self-harm, including providing support in the workplace and countering discrimination; and will look at myths around self-harm and how these can contribute to stigma and discrimination.

To sign up to any of these free webinars, click here.

Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters Manager, commented: “These webinars tackle some very serious issues that not only impact the health and wellbeing of the veterinary world, but much of wider society as well. While some of these topics may be challenging, it is important that we don’t shy away from them and provide members of the veterinary team with the knowledge, the tools and the confidence to help and support colleagues who may be affected.”

For those who are not able to listen live, links to the webinar recordings will be made available on the Mind Matters Initiative website here after the event.