Veterinary

Mental health webinar for vets launches

The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative has organised a series of three webinars that will aim to look at issues such as cyber-bullying, eating disorders, and self-harm amongst veterinarians.

Each of the three episodes in the free webinar series will be one-hour long, and are scheduled to be held over the next three months. 

The first webinar will take place on 26 March, and is entitled ‘Navigating online complaints and cyber-bullying’. The episode, presented by Dr Ebony Escalona MRCVS, will look at the “damaging effects” that online complaints and cyber-bullying can have on the health and wellbeing of those in the industry. 

The RCVS said it will give delegates the “tools and techniques” to deal with online complaints, and identify ways to prevent online complaints escalating. It will also explain the difference between bad publicity and cyber-bullying, and give a list of practical tips to mitigate cyber-bullying when it occurs.

The second episode, entitled ‘Understanding eating disorders’, will take place on 28 April and be led by RCVS Mind Matters officer Rachel Pascoe.

The webinar will detail the physiological and psychological impacts of living with an eating disorder and provide delegates with the tools to identify early warning signs.

It will also explore some of the common myths and misconceptions around eating disorders, and build up a broad understanding of the “barriers to recovery”, and how to support those who are suffering from one.

The final webinar will take place on 19 May, and will tackle self-harm in the veterinary profession. It will be presented by Dr Rosie Allister MRCVS, who manages the Vetlife helpline. 

The episode will explore “what self-harm is, why people do it, and to understand the function of this behaviour”. It will focus on self-harm in the veterinary profession, and teach delegates how to respond to concerns about self-harm, including providing support in the workplace and countering discrimination.  

Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters manager, said: “These webinars tackle some very serious issues that not only impact the health and wellbeing of the veterinary world, but much of wider society as well. 

“While some of these topics may be challenging, it is important that we don’t shy away from them and provide members of the veterinary team with the knowledge, the tools and the confidence to help and support colleagues who may be affected.”

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