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Full programme for Mind Matters International Research Symposium published

By 15/10/2021No Comments

The full programme for next month’s Mind Matters Initiative International Research Symposium has been published and will see researchers and veterinary professionals from across the globe presenting their findings to colleagues.

The virtual event, organised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative in conjunction with veterinary mental health researcher Dr Rosie Allister, will take place from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday 24 November 2021.

The programme (available to download in PDF format) outlines the structure of the day, starting with the plenary talk from Professor Rory O’Connor, Chair in Health Psychology at the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing, entitled ‘When it is Darkest: Understanding Suicide Risk’.

Professor O’Connor’s plenary talk will be followed by presentations setting out the latest findings of projects funded by the Mind Matters Initiative’s Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Fund, which gives £20,000 grants for veterinary mental health research projects on an annual basis.

These talks are:

  • Dr Victoria Crossley from the Royal Veterinary College and Dr Navaratnam Partheeban from the British Veterinary Ethnicity & Diversity Society with their joint research project ‘Experiences of racism and its impacts on mental wellbeing in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people working and studying in the UK veterinary sector’
  • Professor Neil Greenberg and Dr Victoria Williamson from Kings College London with their research project ‘Experiences and impact of moral injury in UK veterinary professional wellbeing’
  • Dr Kate Stephen from Scotland’s Rural College with her research project – the first to be funded by the grant – titled ‘How farm vets cope: An exploration of how vets cope with the daily challenges of farm animal practice and how best these coping mechanisms might be developed into tools which can be easily accessed by the livestock veterinary community’

From the afternoon onwards the event will then split off into various streams with researchers from across the world presenting their latest papers and research into veterinary mental health and wellbeing.

Examples include:

  • the American Association of Veterinary Medical College’s Director of Wellbeing Makenzie Peterson on wellbeing for veterinary interns and residents;
  • University of Nottingham veterinary student Fergus Mitchell on the impact of exercise programme on student mental health and wellbeing;
  • practising veterinary nurse Anna Garrity’s research on whether RVNs feel stigmatised by acknowledging stress and accessing support;
  • Kris van den Bogaard and Dr Jos Schijns from the Open University Netherlands on satisfaction within Dutch veterinary practices; and
  • Dr Sharon Cooksey, a vet and current PhD student at the University of Liverpool Management School, on emotional intelligence and its relationship with work engagement amongst veterinary surgeons in UK veterinary practices.

Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters Manager, says: “The Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant is one of the most impactful aspects of the Mind Matters Initiative and such an important way of ensuring that we can continue to support mental health research, often into areas that haven’t yet been covered by previous research. I am very proud that delegates from across the global veterinary profession will get to see the fruits of these grants with presentations and results from our excellent researchers.

“Likewise, it is also very gratifying that we have presenters from five different countries bringing their research to our breakout streams. International collaboration through the identification of common ground and the sharing of best practice is vitally important for our work and I hope that this Symposium will provide an opportunity for this to take place.”

Registration for the event costs £10, although attendance is free for students, people with lived experience of mental health problems and those who are not currently employed.

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