The Mind Matters Initiative recognises how important it is to provide veterinary professionals with the tools they need to look after their mental health.

In addition to taking part at conferences and congresses and giving talks at a variety of veterinary organisations, our training sessions form a vital part of our ‘protect’ workstream.

This year, we are delighted to be expanding our training programme and are working with a range of training providers to ensure we continue to deliver relevant sessions of the highest standard. More information about our various training sessions can be found below.

If you would like a Mind Matters speaker at one of your events, please contact us on or 020 7050 1248.

Upcoming training

Mental Health First Aid Training – Students

We are launching national student MHFA accredited training and are inviting both student vets and nurses from any year to participate, to support a good understanding of mental health from the very start of their veterinary careers.

The hope is that students will use their training from MHFA to recognise mental health issues amongst their peers and themselves. It will illustrate effective signposting to appropriate services and a greater understanding of mental wellbeing and illness while strengthening a culture of recognising the importance of mental wellbeing.

On completion of the training, students will be awarded a MHFA certificate and qualification.

Each training cohort will be required to attend two training sessions – one in person, and one online. Both in person and online training sessions will run from 9am-5pm.

We will soon be welcoming bookings onto the courses at the locations and dates specified below, so watch this space!

  • Brighton – 2 August (online) & 6 August (in person)
  • Glasgow – 9 August (online) & 13 August (in person)
  • Cardiff – 24 August (online) & 27 August (in person)
  • Leeds – 25 August (online) & 27 August (in person)
  • Gloucester – dates to be confirmed – in collaboration with BSAVA

Mental Health First Aid Training – Rural Network

The Mind Matters Initiative recognises the unique challenges posed by ambulatory vets whose connection to rural communities is invaluable but often demanding. Many of these challenges have been shown to have a negative impact on vets’ mental health and wellbeing, which is compounded by the nature of working alone.

Meaningful connection and effective communication are paramount to job satisfaction, yet in more isolated communities, this often comes with the concern of moral injury and facilitating difficult conversations.

To help bolster support and signposting in rural areas, MMI are funding the creation of a UK wide network of Mental Health First Aiders, by offering Mental Health First Aid training to vets living and working in rural communities across the UK.

Training will be delivered online in four stages which are 2.5 hours each. Each session requires around 90 mins of pre-work. The group will be split into two groups: morning and afternoon. Both groups will receive the same training.

The course will be run over the following days:

  • Monday, 11 July
  • Tuesday, 12 July
  • Wednesday, 20 July
  • Thursday, 21 July

Book and find out more via our dedicated Eventbrite page.

Mental Health in the Workplace for Veterinary Leaders and Managers

A new joint training initiative from MMI and the Veterinary Management Group (VMG) will aim to educate veterinary leaders and managers on mental health in the workplace.

The collaboration will be delivered via VMG’s online learning platform and can either be taken as a free standalone module, or as a module for those already undertaking VMG’s ILM-accredited veterinary leadership and management qualifications.

The module will include online resources and reading materials and two case study-based online workshops delivered by Mind Matters Manager Lisa Quigley to consolidate and contextualise the online learning materials. The first workshop will cover the Equality Act, mental health, and reasonable adjustments; while the second will cover return to work for those who have taken time off due to mental ill-health and how to plan for their continued safety and wellness.

Thanks to support from MMI and VMG, this course is free for participants to complete.  Additionally, if you would like to gain a VMG Level 5 Award in Mental Health in the Veterinary Workplace PLUS an ILM Level 5 Award in Leadership & Management, you can opt to complete the required assignments at the end of the course.  There is a small fee for this to cover ILM assessment and certification, which is charged at cost.

To sign up and find out more, visit the VMG website.

VetLed Civility Training

The VetLed Civility programme, brought to you in collaboration with the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), will be free to attend thanks to MMI funding. In return, we ask that participants complete a pre and post training questionnaire to help determine our training offering moving forward.

A 2021 Mind Matters Initiative survey of student veterinary nurses, recently graduated veterinary nurses, and clinical coaches showed that 96% of respondents felt bullying was a serious problem in the professions. Incivility and bullying in the workplace impact us all, whether we are individually targeted or experience the repercussions of such behaviour as part of a wider workplace culture. This interactive training session, will look at the importance of civility in practice, how to recognise incivility and understand it’s impacts, and identify the ways in which it can successfully be addressed.

Click your chosen date to book and find out more about the course content:

Managing Stress in Veterinary Practice

A three-hour introduction to Mental Fitness.

Mental fitness is defined as our capacity to respond to life’s challenges with a positive rather than a negative mindset. Get it right, and it can have a huge impact, including healthy relationships, peace of mind, better well-being and improved performance in your work and your home life.

Veterinary practice is, by its very nature stressful. Mental fitness training can help you better deal with all of life’s circumstances and will provide you with a framework to work through.

This three-hour session, run by Mark Tabachnik, will look at the neuroscience of stress – and how we can use our brains to serve us rather than tripping us up.

Click your chosen date to book and find out more about the course content:

Inclusive Leadership

Developing a working culture in which people feel able to show up as themselves, where diversity of thought is valued, and where people are cherished, is essential. Diversity, inclusion and mental health are inextricably linked – we need the ability to be ourselves in the workplace in order to feel psychologically safe.

This Inclusive Leadership workshop, run by The Hobbs Consultancy, will support industry leaders in creating a more inclusive workplace. Permission to be who you are at work comes from the top down. It is therefore hugely important that leaders are given the tools to first recognise this in themselves in order to authentically establish a compassionate and inclusive working environment for all. This workshop will support leaders to be courageous in owning their identity, provide practical tips on how to adopt a truly authentic leadership style, and explore the ways in which modelling this behaviour paves the way for an inclusive workplace culture in which teams can thrive.

Click your chosen date to book and find out more about the course content:

Sustaining Your Emotional Health Workshops

Sustaining emotional health is vital. It allows us to cope more effectively with the highs and lows of professional and personal life and helps prevent the development of common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The Mind Matters Initiative recognises just how challenging and emotionally taxing it can be to work in the veterinary professions and therefore how important it is to equip veterinary professionals with the skills they need to look after their emotional health.

This ‘Sustaining Your Emotional Health’ training session, run by Two Roads Charity, aims to aid in the development of emotional defences against common mental health issues.

Click your chosen date to book and find out more about the course content: