Veterinary nurse and student veterinary nurse

Nurses needed to support project exploring SVN mental health education

The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) has awarded £20,000 to a research project investigating whether there is adequate mental health education in the student veterinary nursing curriculum.

The funding comes from the MMI Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant, which was established in 2019 in memory of former RCVS Council Member Sarah Brown, who passed away in 2017. This grant is dedicated to supporting research focused on the mental health and wellbeing of veterinary professionals.

Previous grants have supported a variety of research topics, such as the mental health effects of racism, moral injury, farm veterinarian mental health, stress factors in autistic veterinarians, and the impact of online compassionate imagery interventions.

This year’s grant recipients, Dr. Faye Didymus and Dr. Jackie Hargreaves from Leeds Beckett University, are set to explore how mental health and well-being is integrated into the learning paths of SVNs. This will be done through a scoping review of mental health education during student veterinary nursing curricula. It is hoped this will culminate in a set of evidence-based recommendations for how mental health education for veterinary nursing students could be enhanced.

The project will include interviews with educators, student nurses, and practicing veterinary nurses to gauge their experiences and exposure to mental health education. Dr Didymus and Dr Hargreaves are running a virtual webinar on Tuesday 23 April (10.30am-11.30am) through MMI, to outline their research findings to date and give attendees the chance to contribute to the second phase of their research.

The webinar will be taking place via zoom on Tuesday 23 April from 10:30am to 11:30am, and anyone interested in finding out more or contributing to the research can sign up to the webinar by visiting the MMI website events page.

More information about the grant recipients and the project can be found on the RCVS news and views page.