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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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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.