Graphic of a a log fire on a green MMI background

Time to talk about important issues with new series of MMI Campfire Chats

To coincide with Mind’s Time to Talk Day (Thursday 3 February 2022), a day that encourages people to talk openly with friends and family about mental health, we are announcing a new series of our popular Campfire Chats.

This series of informal discussions on matters related to veterinary health and wellbeing that was successfully launched and ran for two series last year. The new series comprises six online discussions taking place over the course of the spring, covering everything from diversity to creativity to identity.

The upcoming programme of events is as follows:

  • Tuesday 1 March 2022 7pm to 8pm: Celebrating diversity – this discussion is chaired by Gurpreet Gill, RCVS Leadership & Inclusion Manager, and takes place on the United Nation’s Zero Discrimination Day. Panel members Lacey Pitcher RVN, Dr Olivia Anderson-Nathan MRCVS and Samantha Payne RVN will be discussing what celebrating diversity means to people, exploring how this links to mental health, and sharing their thoughts on why – and how – the professions should be working towards greater inclusivity, both in and out of the workplace.
  • Monday 21 March 2022 7pm to 8pm: The joy of creativity – this discussion will look at why creativity is so important for people’s lives and how it can be used to support mental health and wellbeing with a panel comprising Dr Silvia Janksa MRCVS and Olivia Oginska MRCVS.
  • Tuesday 5 April 2022 7pm to 8pm: Overcoming self-doubt and stressing out – timed to coincide with the start of Stress Awareness Month in April, this discussion will consider the main causes of stress in the veterinary workforce and how this may have shifted throughout the pandemic. The discussion will encompass coping strategies, the ways in which stress can be channelled in a more constructive way, and overcoming feelings of self-doubt.
  • Thursday 21 April 2022 7pm to 8pm: Identity – who am I away from work? –  with the multi-layered nature of identity in mind, this discussion will consider to what extent veterinary professionals should let their careers define them, the importance of understanding oneself in and out of a work setting, and how people can learn to value, accept, and appreciate their whole selves.
  • Tuesday 3 May 2022 7pm to 8pm: Saying goodbye…letting go and learning to grow – this discussion will consider how best to cope with the various types of loss that may be encountered in an individual’s professional and personal life, and how to learn, adapt and grow from these losses.
  • Thursday 12 May 2022 7pm to 8pm: Tackling loneliness in a hyperconnected world – this event takes place during Mental Health Awareness Week, for which the theme  this year is loneliness – its mental health impact and how it has been exacerbated by the pandemic. This Campfire Chat will discuss why meaningful connection and having a sense of belonging matters, and how individuals and communities can tackle loneliness in a hyperconnected world.

Angharad Belcher, Director of the Mind Matters Initiative, commented: “We are very glad to be launching this new series of Campfire Chats on Time for Talk Day. Our topics for this year are based on the ideas that we have received from previous attendees. We all lead busy professional and personal lives and sometimes it means that self-care, which includes talking to others about how we’re feeling and about issues that we find important to us, can fall by the wayside.

“Our Campfire Chats offer a perfect opportunity – and excuse – to take a bit of time out of your schedule to engage in a structured but informal discussion about all manner of subjects, expertly led by a chair and panel with experience, lived and otherwise, on the topic being talked about.

“These events are for the whole veterinary team, we keep the sessions very informal, and there is also the opportunity to share or ask questions of the panel. If you’ve not attended before then please sign up, and if you have then we look forward to welcoming you back.”

Members of the professions can sign up to the first session of the new series of Campfire Chats. More information about the later events will be put online as and when details are confirmed.

For further information about the events contact Abi Hanson, Mind Matters Initiative Officer, on