The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has announced a total of £1m funding to address mental health and well-being within the veterinary profession over the next five years.

Mind Matters was launched in December 2014 and the RCVS operational board has agreed £100,000 of funding for the first year of the initiative, with a view to a similar amount per year for the subsequent four years.

Meanwhile, the RCVS intends to contribute approximately £500,000 over the next five years to the Veterinary Surgeons’ Health Support Programme (VSHSP). This is a continuation of previous funding, effectively doubling the college’s contribution.

The VSHSP, independently run by the Veterinary Benevolent Fund, offers a confidential service that aims to combat problems with alcohol, drugs, eating disorders and other addictive and mental health issues.

“I am delighted we have £500,000 of new funding over the next five years to dedicate to improving the mental health and well-being of the veterinary team, together with the increase to our support for the VSHSP,” said Neil Smith, chairman of Mind Matters.

“It shows the college’s commitment in this vital area, and is a substantial amount that will really help change lives.”

The funding will be reviewed annually as part of the RCVS budgeting process. Mind Matters activities will fall into five streams
  • Learning and understanding best practice
  • Changing the culture
  • Intervention: personal level
  • Intervention: supporting the supporters
  • making change
For more, look out for issue eight of Veterinary Times.
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