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SRUC awarded mental health research grant
Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been awarded more than £20,000 to fund research into veterinary mental health and wellbeing.
Research aims to “break the cycle of negative thoughts” in the farm animal sector

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been awarded more than £20,000 to fund research into veterinary mental health and wellbeing.

The Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant was awarded to SRUC at RCVS Day on Friday 12 July. Behavioural scientist Dr Kate Stephen will lead the project and undertake the majority of qualitative data collection and analysis.
 
“It is an honour to be awarded this grant," said Dr Stephen. "We hope our project will make a positive contribution towards understanding and improving the mental health and wellbeing of individuals in the veterinary profession."

The Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant is named after an elected RCVS Council member who tragically passed away in 2017. It provides funding for research focussed on mental health within the veterinary professions, including areas such as prevention, diagnosis, intervention and treatment.

“While nothing can replace Sarah, I am glad that, with the blessing of her family, we have been able to launch these grants and, indeed, find a worthy recipient," commented Professor Stuart Reid, chair of the Mind Matters Initiative.
 
“We were very impressed with SRUC’s proposal because it focused on farm animal veterinary sector, an area of practice that can be harder to address when it comes to mental health support, but which has significant challenges that research has demonstrated can put strains on the mental health and wellbeing of veterinary surgeons.

“For example, some farm vets have cited isolation, the challenging nature of some aspects of the job and the great responsibility it carries for the livelihood of farmers and rural communities as being particularly stressful.”

He added: ‘The SRUC research has the very laudable aim of identifying how to better promote job satisfaction and to break the cycle of negative thoughts and poor mental wellbeing identified amongst farm vets, and so we are very glad to have made this award to the team.

“It’s only by improving the veterinary mental health evidence base that we will be able to hone the interventions and support that is available to members of the veterinary team.”

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Cats Protection launches Christmas animation

News Story 1
 Leading feline charity Cats Protection has launched a heartwarming Christmas animation to raise awareness of the important work it does. The animation is based on a true story of a kitten that went missing earlier this year. Freezing cold and hungry, the kitten was dumped in a box on a roadside and somehow became separated from her brother and sisters.


Thankfully there is a happy end to this tail, and Libby - now named Misty - was eventually reunited with her littermates. Misty’s owner, Amy Smith, said: “Misty has settled amazingly well into our home, she has found a best friend in my daughter Lily and likes to follow her around the house. She also loves to chase bugs in the garden. We feel very lucky to have her.” 

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WSAVA launches certificate programme focusing on companion animals in One Health

The first certificate programme focusing specifically on the role of companion animals in One Health has been launched by the One Health Committee (OHC) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).

The online programme, which is free of charge for WSAVA members, has been developed in recognition of the growing impact of companion animals in human society. Pet ownership is becoming more popular globally, and this has increased the implications for One Health, regarding the human-companion animal bond. The WSAVA OHC hopes that this course will bridge the knowledge gap between veterinary surgeons and human physicians. New modules are being added weekly, with a total of 20 modules expected to be available by early 2020.