As part of our Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) the College has teamed up with The Webinar Vet to offer an online series of eight one-hour mindfulness-based stress reduction sessions, entitled ‘Turning mind-full to mindful’.
The evidence base for the positive impact of mindfulness has been growing over recent years. The practice, which grew out of Buddhist traditions of meditation, has been credited with helping to reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain, improve sleep patterns and general wellbeing, and even make positive physical changes to the brain.
The University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre defines mindfulness as: “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, with compassion, and open-hearted curiosity. Through cultivating mindful awareness, we discover how to live in the present moment rather than brooding about the past or worrying about the future.”
The sessions will be run by Dr Mike Scanlan, of KindMinds.org, who has run similar courses for human medical professionals.
“This is course is not for those who are in crisis, who should seek direct medical help, but aims to give members of the veterinary team the skills they need to help control their mental landscape in a positive way,” says Mike.
“People may be wary about embarking on a mindfulness course and feel that to gain benefits will be time-consuming. But achieving even ten minutes of mindfulness each day can bring real benefits.
“There are now randomised control trials which show that mindfulness delivered online is effective, and it’s just so easy to access that I would encourage any member of the veterinary team to sign up.”
Comments from attendees of Mike’s previous courses include:
- “This eight-week course has been so valuable, I’ve learnt the art of mindfulness and now put it into daily practice.”
- “Mindfulness helps me to calm and quieten my whirling thoughts, to relax and de-stress.”
- “This course has changed my life – I now live well by gently checking in with myself and asking if what I am doing is working for me, if it isn’t, I stop doing it and do something else.”
“I am delighted that we have been able to work with Dr Mike Scanlan and The Webinar Vet to deliver this innovative programme,” says Lizzie Lockett, MMI Project Director.
“Since MMI began we have been hearing great things about the power of mindfulness. The challenge has been how to make it accessible, given practitioners’ busy lives and the stigma that stops some people from feeling able to access any form of wellbeing support in a public way.
“This webinar-based series can be accessed from home, at any time, and is a perfect entry-point to the benefits of mindfulness. Through MMI funding, we hope that the pricing of the sessions will make them accessible to all.”
The sessions will run from 8-9pm, commencing on Tuesday 26 April and finishing on Tuesday 14 June. Delegates ought not to worry if they miss a session, as they will be recorded and available to listen on demand.
A one-to-one chat function will be available during the webinars, and Mike will be on hand for support online and by phone between sessions. And, of course, anyone can access confidential help at any time via the VetLife Helpline (0303 040 2551) or confidential email service.
The eight-session series will cost £40 +VAT, which has been discounted from £200 + VAT thanks to MMI funding. A practice ticket will also be available at £200 +VAT for up to ten members of staff.