May 23, 2017, by Charlotte Kingsbury
Looking out for each other in the Vet School
By Zara Abas, Teaching Intern Staff Student Liaison Officer
At Nottingham Vet School, we pride ourselves on our commitment to staff and student welfare. We recently launched #Lookoutforeachother, our school-wide mental health and wellbeing awareness campaign which has rapidly gained momentum over the last year.
Thanks to generous funding from Nottingham Cascade, we have been able to run a number of Mental Health First Aid Training workshops at the vet school which educate staff and students about recognising signs of mental ill health or poor mental wellbeing in a friend or colleague, how to support them and how to help them access the right help. These workshops were incredibly well attended and so far, we have run a total of 4 workshops, providing training to 120 undergraduate students, postgraduate students and members of staff.
In January, our staff and students dressed in bright colours for Blooming Monday and we hosted a colourful bake sale with all proceeds going to Mental Health Research UK. During the January exam period this year, the welfare team toured the library and small group teaching rooms to bring relief to revising students in the form of snacks, drinks, and plenty of puppy cuddles from the school teaching dogs! The feedback received from students was very positive and our latest initiative during the Easter exam period has been the creation of the “Stress Bus-ter”! Senior tutor Mike Targett’s VW camper van took centre stage, from which we provided hot drinks, snacks and the opportunity to chat with a friendly face before and after every exam. We were pleased to see students having the opportunity to take a break and chat to our welfare team and other students over a cup of tea after exams. The free #Lookoutforeachother stress balls and other freebies also went down particularly well!
This week we are excited to be holding our official launch event, where we will be hosting inspirational speakers giving talks about the RCVS Mind Matters campaign and building your personal resilience. There will also be many opportunities on the evening to try out different fun activities promoting both physical and mental wellbeing. All welcome on 25th May 2017 from 6pm in the vet school atrium and A29. You can book here.
We look forward to taking our campaign further this year and continuing to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing in the veterinary profession.
The University’s annual Month of the Mind programme aims to raise awareness of, and create space to discuss, issues of mental, emotional and neurological wellbeing and difference which may impact our staff, and to help mitigate stigma through communication and representation of diverse experiences, cultures and identities. Month of the Mind includes Mental Health Awareness Week and Dementia Awareness Week. To learn more about University events, or to discuss your own ideas and activities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org