MMI and VPMA join forces to launch new mental health for managers courses

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) and the Veterinary Practice Management Association (VPMA) have launched a series of courses designed to help those in management roles in a veterinary practice or other veterinary workplace support colleagues with mental health issues.

These day-long courses, each running from 9.30-5:00pm, will cover: basic mental health awareness; HR employment regulations and the legal position; the role of the line manager in supporting someone with poor mental health; making reasonable adjustments; planning ‘return to work’; and designing and putting in place wellbeing action plans.

The courses will be run by Connecting with People, a social enterprise that develops and delivers high-quality training to employees with healthcare or safeguarding responsibilities.

Helen Sanderson, former VPMA President and representative on the MMI Taskforce, said: “If you do one thing this year for your team I strongly recommend it be attending one of these courses. It provided me with invaluable information in recognising stress and depression in a team, as well as giving useful tools and tips on how to discuss and handle situations. I would encourage anyone to attend.”

Lizzie Lockett, Director of Mind Matters, added: “It has been wonderful to see the response from the veterinary profession to our mental health awareness training sessions, but we know that managers can face particular challenges in supporting their team’s mental health. Meanwhile, line managers play a key role in whether or not someone feels comfortable discussing a mental health issue, goes on to seek help, and, ultimately, returns to the workforce

“We therefore designed these courses to provide very practical information for those in managerial positions, covering legal requirements as well as how to implement wellbeing strategies for colleagues.”

Thanks to financial support from Mind Matters and the VPMA, each course costs £80 for VPMA members and £120 for non-members.

To book a place, please visit the Mind Matters Eventbrite page.