MMI campfire chats return for fourth series - Veterinary Practice
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MMI campfire chats return for fourth series

“It’s hugely important that we are able to provide the professions with a space to talk openly and honestly about the key issues impacting their mental health and well-being”

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative is inviting veterinary professionals to join their fourth series of Campfire Chats commencing this autumn.

The Campfire Chats, which were first set up in January 2021, provide veterinary professionals with the opportunity to come together to chat about important topics impacting their mental health and well-being.

Since their inception, the chats have continued to grow in popularity and have covered a wide range of topics, from stress and loneliness to creativity and climate change anxiety.

The upcoming sessions are as follows:

Tuesday 20 September 2022 from 7pm to 8pm, “Navigating Change” – this discussion will look at the challenge of navigating change in every sense – whether that be managing a loss of a loved one, starting a new job, moving home, or transitioning into practice. The panel comprises of Remi Onabolu, RVN, Diane James (Blue Cross Pet Bereavement), and Dr Niall Connell, MRCVS.

Tuesday 11 October 2022 from 7pm to 8pm, “Social Media and Mental Health” – this discussion will delve into the mental health benefits and challenges of social media, and how to manage these. Panel guests for this session include Lou Northway, RVN, (@louthevetnurse), Dr Bolu Eso, MRCVS, and Dr Jeffrey Lambert (University of Bath).

Wednesday 9 November from 7pm to 8pm, “Letting Go of Perfect” – this chat will explore the topic of perfectionism – how to recognise it, how to learn navigate it, and the ways in which it can impact your mental well-being. Panellists include Dr Fabian Rivers, MRCVS, (Dready Vet), Dr Elisa Lewis (London South Bank University), and Professor Andrew Hill (York St John University).

Wednesday 30 November from 7pm to 8pm, “Maintaining Balance” – this discussion will explore many faces of maintaining balance, the ways in which we can try to implement it into busy schedules, and why finding an individual sense of balance is so important. Panellists include Laura Kidd MRCVS (Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary studies, Edinburgh), and Lucy Grieve MRCVS (British Equine Veterinary Association).

An additional campfire chat is also due to be run in conjunction with the RCVS Diversity and Inclusion Group, discussing the recently published RCVS/VSC (Veterinary Schools Council) BAME Student Support Working Group report. Details for this are yet to be confirmed.

Angharad Belcher, director of the Mind Matters Initiative, commented: “We are delighted to be bringing back our Campfire Chats for a fourth series.

“It’s hugely important that we are able to provide the professions with a space to talk openly and honestly about the key issues impacting their mental health and well-being in a secure, yet relaxed, environment.

“We all lead such hectic lives and taking the time to come together and either discuss, or simply listen to, each other’s experiences can be really beneficial.”

“The sessions are open to the whole veterinary team and are free to attend. We like to keep the sessions as relaxed as possible, so whilst the sessions aren’t recorded, we do provide a roundup of all the key information discussed after each session.

“These round ups can be accessed via the Campfire Chats resource page on the MMI website or will be sent directly to you after the session.”

All members of the veterinary profession can sign up to attend the Campfire Chats via the MMI Events page.

For further information about the sessions, contact Abi Hanson, Mind Matters Initiative Officer.

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