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RCVS to extend Mind Matters Initiative
Mind Matters will continue to donate £100k per year to mental health support charity VetLife.
Funding will allow project to build on previous success 

The RCVS has announced that it is to extend its Mind Matters initiative on a rolling three-year basis and that it will increase funding to £250k per year.

In a press release, the College said the investment will allow the project to continue to address and improve mental health and wellbeing within the veterinary profession.

Plans to extend the initiative were put forward by Professor Stuart Reid, chair of Mind Matters, at a meeting of RCVS Council on Thursday (27 September). The project was initially given three years of funding at £200k per year, but Council unanimously voted in favour of the proposal to switch to a rolling three-year agreement.

The RCVS said that Mind Matters will continue to donate £100k per year to mental health support charity VetLife. The remaining £150k will be spent on other initiatives, such as providing research, training and a culture-change programme.

Commenting on the extension, Professor Stuart Reid said: “I’m both delighted and immensely grateful that Council has demonstrated their support for Mind Matters unanimously and so generously. Their commitment to our mission will allow us to take the initiative to the next level and, importantly, continue to assess the impact of our work.”

Mind Matters runs joint mental health awareness courses in tandem with the BSAVA, mental health for managers courses with the Veterinary Management Group and the Joint Wellbeing Awards with the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons. In January 2017, Mind Matters launched the “&me” de-stigmatising campaign with the Doctors Support Network at the House of Commons.

Since its launch in 2015, Mind Matters has run 45 mental health awareness courses, spoken at more than 50 external conferences and events and hosted many other conferences and activities. It said that during this period there has been a 500 per cent increase in calls to the Vetlife, demonstrating a reduction in the stigma about seeking help.

An RCVS spokesperson said: ‘This further funding will ensure the Mind Matters Initiative can continue to build on its success, highlighting the importance of individual well-being and seeking to ‘prevent, protect and support’ all members of the veterinary team.’

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ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays

News Story 1
 A selection of X-ray images showing the inner workings of frogs, turtles, snakes and geckos have been shared by veterinary surgeons at ZSL London Zoo.

Taken as part of a routine health check, the images have been shared as part of ‘Vets in Action’ week - a hand’s on role-playing experience for children that explores the life of a zoo vet.

ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse Heather Mackintosh said: “It’s great to be able to share the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Zoo to keep our residents in tip-top condition – and our visitors are always amazed to find out more about their favourite animals.” 

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News Shorts
Vets in developing nations given free access to BSAVA’s online library

BSAVA has teamed up with the WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to offer vets in developing nations free access to its online library.

The Association’s ‘Foundation Collection’ is comprised of more than 70 hours of articles, lectures and book chapters covering topics such as basic handling skills, working on a budget and emergency triage. Some of the countries set to benefit include Albania, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

Nicolette Hayward, of BSAVA International Affairs Committee said: “Our mission is to promote excellence in small animal practice through education and science, so we are delighted to work with WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to share these high-quality resources to the veterinary profession in low and middle-income countries.”