All veterinary professionals are now able to pre-register for a new mental health and wellbeing app being produced by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) ahead of the platform’s launch early this autumn. MMI has collaborated with The Kite Program to develop a mental health and wellbeing programme, called MMI Kite App, that incorporates bespoke microlearning modules for the veterinary professions.
Microlearning is a type of (typically) online learning which delivers content in bite-size modules. This type of training usually combines a mixture of interactive activities, images and videos, which can be worked through in short chunks of time. Veterinary professionals often have busy workdays and put in long hours, which was taken into account when MMI Kite App was being developed. All the training modules on the app can easily be incorporated into someone’s day-to-day work and personal life, with many only taking five minutes to complete.
MMI Kite App is completely free to use and will have a range of learning modules (affectionately known as ‘Kites’) specifically for the UK veterinary professions. The app allows users to choose the learning modules they want to take (there are no mandatory modules) and work through them at a pace to suit them. The first ‘Kites’ available on MMI Kite App will include modules on breathing activities, mindfulness, time management and physical activity for mental health. The platform will be adding new modules over the weeks and months and the MMI team will use feedback from members to ensure that the content is what is needed.
Angharad Belcher, RCVS Director for Advancement of the Professions, commented: “Veterinary professionals undertake vital work for animal health and welfare, but the intensity and pressure of their work can take its toll on mental health and wellbeing. Sadly, research shows that compared to the general population, veterinary professionals are more likely to experience mental health distress, including depression and anxiety.
“We recognise how hard it can be for veterinary professionals to fit wellbeing activities into their busy workdays and understand that everyone’s mental health needs are different. By collaborating with The Kite Program, we wanted to create a wellbeing platform that was accessible, flexible and had a range of activities to meet a variety of mental health and wellbeing needs. This app will be another useful tool for the professions, and we are pleased to be able to offer it free of charge.
“We are really looking forward to hearing feedback from the professions about the platform and creating more modules based on their wants and needs.”
Hannah Hardy-Jones, The Kite Program CEO and Founder, said: “We use a Kite as an effective analogy for talking about wellbeing. At the Kite Program, we believe this is a much easier analogy to explain and normalise wellbeing and mental health, which can often be very clinical and unrelatable. As people, we go between having soaring kites right through to having a kite that is broken and on the ground. It takes practice, patience and skills to be able to fly your kite in any condition. Our app and programs are designed to help people learn to “fly” confidently. As you move through each Kite module within the app, you build skills in an accessible and practical way.”
All activity undertaken on the app is highly secure, as users can’t input any personal information into the MMI Kite App and the only data that MMI will hold is a record of active users. There is an extra level of security whereby if the app is not used for four consecutive weeks, then the user ID is marked as inactive, and the user will need to reactivate their account.
Anyone who would like to pre-register for MMI Kite App can do so by visiting the MMI App Project page and following the registration button link. Anyone who is attending BEVA Congress 2021 will be able to visit the RCVS conference stand to see a demo of MMI Kite App and ask questions about the platform. Once MMI Kite App is launched early registrants will receive email instructions from MMI on how to access and start their Kite journey.