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Posted: 9th September 2021

Registration opens for Mind Matters Symposium
The symposium will feature veterinary professionals from around the globe.

The symposium will present the latest research on veterinary mental health. 

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative third Mental Health Research Symposium is now open for registration.

Taking place online from 10am on Wednesday 24 November, the symposium will feature veterinary professionals from around the globe, who will present their research on veterinary mental health and wellbeing. 

Researchers based in the United States, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK will give their presentations live to attendees. 

The event will be introduced by Professor Susan Dawson, Chair of the Mind Matters Taskforce, and the symposium’s plenary speaker, Professor Rory O’Connor, will follow from that.

Professor O’Connor’s talk is titled ‘When it is Darkest: Understanding Suicide Risk’, will explore his research on the psychological processes which precipitate suicidal behaviour and self harm.

The next presentation will focus on the mental health impact of racism and discrimination on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) veterinary surgeons, and will be given by Dr Victoria Crossley and Navaratnam Patheeban. 

Following that Professor Neil Greenberg and Dr Victoria Williamson will present on their research on the impact of ‘moral injury’ on the wellbeing of veterinary professionals. 

Different research streams will then be available to view following these three presentations.

Topics for these include cyberbullying and harassment, the wellbeing of interns and residents, stigma and stress in veterinary nursing, mental health awareness training in the undergraduate curriculum, and the relationship between patient safety culture and staff burnout.

Mind Matters Manager, Lisa Quigley, has commented on the event:  “As with previous years the Mind Matters Mental Health Research Symposium promises to be a very informative and important day in terms of international researchers coming together to share their research, their conclusions, areas for further work and study, and best practice.

“Some of the topics we will be discussing, such as suicide, will be difficult, but research into issues affecting the international veterinary community is a vital first step to putting in place strategies and support mechanisms to help those in need. 

“I would like to thank Dr Rosie Allister, a veterinary mental health researcher from the University of Edinburgh and manager of Vetlife Helpline, for putting together an excellent programme.

“As with previous years we are also offering free attendance of the symposium to those who have lived experience of mental ill-health, those who are currently not working, and veterinary and veterinary nursing students. If you have any queries about the event, please don’t hesitate to contact me on l.quigley@rcvs.org.uk to discuss further.”

The cost of registration is £10, and further details of the event, along with registration, are available at vetmindmatters.org/events

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