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Study to review vet nurse mental health education
The grant has been awarded to Dr Faye Didymus and Dr Jackie Hargreaves from Leeds Beckett University.

MMI Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant will fund project.

The RCVS Mind Matters (MMI) has awarded a £20,000 research grant to a project that will explore student veterinary nurse mental health education.

MMI Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant has been awarded to Dr Faye Didymus and Dr Jackie Hargreaves from Leeds Beckett University. Their project aims to investigate the potential lack of understanding surrounding the importance of mental health education in the learning paths of student veterinary nurses.

Following their research, Dr Didymus and Dr Hargreaves hope to produce a set of evidence-based recommendations for how mental health education for student veterinary nurses could be enhanced.

On being told their proposal had been awarded the grant, Dr Didymus said: “Being awarded the Sarah Brown Research Grant offers a fantastic opportunity for us and for the future of veterinary nursing. We hope that our research will have a real impact on the mental health of those working in the veterinary nursing profession.

“Maintaining good mental health is vital for job satisfaction, retention, and performance, and integrating mental health education into veterinary nursing courses is one way that veterinary nurse mental health can be supported, as it allows people to develop essential skills that will benefit their lives beyond education.” 

The MMI Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant was founded in 2019 in memory of RCVS council member Sarah Brown, who passed away in 2017. The grant has previously funded projects into a number of areas, including: the mental health impacts of racism; moral injury; and farm veterinarian mental health.

This is the final year of the Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grants. 

Mind Matters Initiative manager, Lisa Quigley, said: “Much of the research into veterinary mental health has so far been centred around veterinary surgeons so we were keen to fund a veterinary nurse focused project to help close that knowledge gap. 

“The veterinary field encompasses the entire veterinary team, and we cannot afford to overlook a group that makes up much of the working veterinary population and who are vital for the functioning of the sector. It is essential that we support our veterinary nurses throughout their careers and provide them with the knowledge and tools to look after their own mental wellbeing from the outset. 

“Research plays a major role in this, and we are delighted to be funding a fully nurse-based project.”

The Sarah Brown Grant will be awarded to Dr Didymus and Dr Hargreaves at the Mind Matters Mental Health Research Symposium, being held in Manchester on Tuesday, 10 October. Tickets are available online.

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VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

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News Shorts
Sixth case of bluetongue confirmed

A sixth case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 has been confirmed in the UK.

The case was detected in an animal on a premises linked to one of the farms within the Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) currently in place near Canterbury, Kent.

In response, the Animal and Plant Health Agency has extended the TCZ. Investigations into the spread of the disease are ongoing.

The cases in Kent come at a time when a new strain of the virus has spread rapidly across farms in the Netherlands. Both the Government and the British Veterinary Association have urged livestock keepers to remain vigilant.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and suspected cases must be reported immediately on 03000 200 301 in England or 03003 038 268 in Wales. In Scotland, possible cases should be reported to the local field services office.