VN mental health training project receives £20k Sarah Brown research grant

27th July 2023
Industry News

A study of mental health education in veterinary nurse training has been boosted by the final research grant to be named in memory of a former RCVS council member.

Faye Didymus and Jackie Hargreaves, both of Leeds Beckett University, have been awarded the £20,000 Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant through the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI).

The project will review existing provision and interview both tutors, students and nurses to develop recommendations for improved provision.

Dr Didymus said the grant represented “a fantastic opportunity” both for them and the nursing profession.

‘Essential skills’

She added: “Maintaining good mental health is vital for job satisfaction, retention, and performance, and integrating mental health education into veterinary nursing courses is one way that veterinary nurse mental health can be supported, as it allows people to develop essential skills that will benefit their lives beyond education.

“However, little is known about what mental health education is provided across veterinary nursing diplomas and degrees or if there is a consistent approach.

“Throughout the research, we aim to build a clearer picture of the current provision, so we can create evidence-based recommendations for the optimisation of veterinary nursing education.”

The grant scheme was launched in 2019 in memory of RCVS council member Sarah Brown, who died in 2017.

Final grant year

MMI manager Lisa Quigley said: “This year marks the final year of the Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grants, and I would like to thank Sarah’s family for their blessing to run the grant and for their ongoing support.

“We have funded six projects over the past five years, which we hope will help Sarah’s legacy and passion for improving mental health and well-being within the professions live on.

“I would also like to thank our panel of judges for their support. We have chosen a very deserving project and I look forward to seeing the outcome of their research and the impact it will have on the professions in the years to come.

“Much of the research into veterinary mental health has so far been centred around veterinary surgeons, so we were keen to fund a veterinary nurse-focused project to help close that knowledge gap.”

Dr Didymus and Dr Hargreaves will formally receive the grant during the Mind Matters Mental Health Research Symposium, which takes place in Manchester on 10 October. Tickets are available here.


Credit to:  VN mental health training project receives £20k Sarah Brown research grant (Vet Times)

Vet Times. (2023).  VN mental health training project receives £20k Sarah Brown research grant [online]

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