The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative has launched a new suite of free training opportunities for the veterinary team based around feedback received from the professions in recent consultations and surveys, and the initiative’s strategic aims.
In total, four new courses have been launched, all of which are responding to areas of identified need and aim to improve not only the mental health and wellbeing of individuals, but look at ways of improving workplace culture to the benefit of all in the profession.
The courses, which are all free, are:
- VetLed Civility Training: this course has been informed by a survey conducted in 2021 with student veterinary nurses, recently-qualified RVNs, and clinical coaches which found that 96% of respondents felt bullying and incivility was a problem in the professions. The interactive training sessions will look at the importance of civility in practice, how to recognise incivility and understand its impacts, and identify the ways in incivility can successfully be addressed.
- Introduction to diversity, equity, inclusion and unconscious bias: this training course aligns with the MMI strategic aim that recognises how mental health and wellbeing is inextricably linked with ensuring people from all backgrounds are treated equally and fairly and are made to feel welcome and included in the veterinary workplace. The workshops are run by The Hobbs Consultancy and will raise awareness of the challenges in this area, provide information and practical tips on how to reduce unconscious bias, and ultimately improve overall working culture.
- Managing stress in veterinary practice: this course is based around the concept of ‘mental fitness’, which is defined as the capacity to respond to life’s challenges with a positive rather than a negative mindset. The three hour course is run by equine vet Mark Tabachnik, the Clinical Director of IVC Evidensia who is also a professional mental health coach, and recognises the stressful nature of veterinary work while looking at the neuroscience of stress and how the professions can use and react to stress in a positive way.
- Inclusive leadership: this course, also run by The Hobbs Consultancy, will support veterinary leaders in creating a more inclusive workplace, recognising that leaders are the key actors in establishing compassionate and inclusive working environments for all. This workshop will provide practical tips on how to adopt an inclusive leadership style, and explore the ways in which these behaviours pave the way for an inclusive workplace culture in which teams can thrive.
Speaking of the launch of these new training opportunities, MMI Manager Lisa Quigley commented: “We’ve already seen an amazing response from the professions to these courses and so thank you to all those who have signed up so far. Some of our courses are now fully booked and so to those who haven’t yet had the opportunity, rest assured that more dates will be forthcoming.
“I am really proud of this new tranche of training. Whereas our previous training has focused on the individual experience, for example, mental health awareness and resilience, these new courses recognise that individual instances of poor mental health and wellbeing can often be caused by systemic issues – whether that’s a poor workplace culture where bullying and incivility thrive, or discrimination on account of someone’s protected characteristics.
“I do hope those attending these courses find them useful and we will, of course, be taking on any feedback so that we can continue to develop and improve them as we go along.”
The full range of courses, including the dates and times and details on how to register, can be found on the dedicated Mind Matters Initiative training webpage.
Feedback about any of the courses can be sent to [email protected]