The RCVS and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England are running a free, online mental health training programme for vets in isolated and rural areas across the UK, and ambulatory vets.

As part of the programme, the College aims to form a network of UK-wide rural Mental Health First Aiders in the vet profession starting with rural geographies.

The network will bolster the understanding of common mental health conditions, help individuals identify signs of mental ill-health both in themselves and others, promote self-care and provide the tools for how to effectively support people experiencing poor mental health.

Angharad Belcher, Director of the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI), said: “Veterinary surgeons working in rural and ambulatory services are often integral members of their local communities with a deep connection with farmers, animal owners and the wider rural community.

"However, as MMI-funded research conducted by Scotland’s Rural College with vets has demonstrated, veterinary work in such areas can often be very challenging which is compounded by working alone or having relatively limited contact with professional colleagues.

“Effective early intervention in cases of mental ill-health and distress can have significant impacts, and so this course will arm participants with the relevant knowledge of how to identify mental health issues and will allow them to signpost people to the most effective and relevant sources of help.”

The free training, fully funded by MMI, will be delivered online in four sessions which are each two-and-a-half hours long.

The dates of the training sessions are Monday 11th, Tuesday 12th, Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st July.

To register for the course, visit: 

The closing date for registrations is 5pm Friday 10th June.

For those who are unsure about joining the course, MHFA England has organised an online question and answers session ahead of the application date at 7pm on Tuesday 7 June.

To attend the Q & A contact Lacey Pitcher, Mind Matters Outreach and Engagement Senior Officer on

PS: Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vets.