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AVBC Signs Mind Matters International Statement

Sustainable Practice Committee

Melbourne – 15 June 2021

AVBC has kick-started the work of the Sustainable Practice Committee by signing the RCVS-AVMA Mind Matters International joint statement.

The Mind Matters Initiative aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of those in the veterinary team, including students, veterinary nurses, veterinarians, and practice managers. MMI was launched in 2015 and is funded and run by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses in the UK. Collaborating with international colleagues who are facing the same challenges will ensure a coordinated approach to mental wellbeing and avoid us re-inventing the wheel.

In the welcome letter, the group acknowledged AVBC’s commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of veterinary professionals. Lizzie Lockett, CEO of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), said: “The RCVS and the American Veterinary Medical Association are delighted that the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council has signed up to our joint Mind Matters International statement. As custodians of a sustainable veterinary workforce, regulators can play a key role in supporting positive veterinary mental health and wellbeing, which is in the interests of professionals, the public and, of course, animal health and welfare. We look forward to working with the AVBC in continuing to develop confident, resilient, healthy and well-supported veterinary teams.”

The SPC includes representatives from the Veterinary Schools of Australia and New Zealand (VSANZ), the Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia (VNCA), veterinary board representatives from the Northern Territory, Victoria, ACT and the Veterinary Council of New Zealand.

Building a healthy, sustainable veterinary profession

The SPC was created as part of AVBC’s commitment to supporting boards and working with the associations and educators to deliver a fit-for-purpose veterinary profession. It wants to see veterinarians sustaining continued growth and professional satisfaction throughout their careers. We hope by assisting veterinary professionals to thrive in their careers. It will further enhance the quality and standards of services provided by veterinarians to the public and build more public confidence.

The SPC will address critical areas of concern such as mental health of the veterinary team, utilisation of veterinary paraprofessionals, complaints handling and standardising regulations across jurisdictions. For regulators, sustainable practice is about preventing incidents requiring the board’s attention before they happen and having a viable, long-term workforce to service the community’s needs and maintain animal welfare standards.