A course designed to help those in management roles support colleagues with mental health issue has been launched by the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) and VPMA.

Designed specifically for managers in a veterinary practice or other veterinary workplace, the “Mental Health for Managers” course will be run at nine locations throughout May, June and July 2017 by Connecting with People, a social enterprise that develops and delivers training to employees with safeguarding or health care responsibilities.

SPVS Mind Matters logoThe one-day course will cover a range of topics, including:

  • 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” strategies
  • designing and implementing well-being action plans

Particular challenges

Mind Matters director Lizzie Lockett said: “It has been wonderful to see the response from the veterinary profession to our mental health awareness training sessions, but we know managers can face particular challenges in supporting their team’s mental health.

“Meanwhile, line managers play a key role in whether 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 well-being strategies for colleagues.”

Course locations

Dates and locations for the course are:

  •   2 May – Howfield Manor Hotel, Chartham Hatch (near Canterbury), Kent
  • 12 May – Hazlewood Castle and Spa, Hazlewood, North Yorkshire
  • 14 June – Holiday Inn Express Swansea East, Neath, Neath Port Talbot
  • 23 June – Holiday Inn Edinburgh, Edinburgh
  • 27 June – Lumley Castle, Chester-le-Street, County Durham
  •   4 July – Hitchcock Pavillion, Kilmington, Devon
  • 10 July – Bromsgrove Golf Centre, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
  • 12 July – Daresbury Park Hotel and Spa, Warrington, Cheshire
  • 19 July – Newmarket Racecourses, Newmarket, Suffolk

Invaluable information

Financial support from Mind Matters and the VPMA means each course costs £80 for VPMA members and £120 for non-members.

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.”

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