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Veterinary Council signs international agreement to help boost vets' wellbeing

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Veterinary Council of New Zealand has signed an international agreement that aims to lift the mental health and wellbeing of vets worldwide. 

The Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is designed to improve the mental health and wellbeing of veterinary professionals including nurses, surgeons, practice managers and students. It is funded and run by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) in the UK in collaboration with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). When signing the MMI statement, organisations make a committment to its intent of protecting and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of veterinary professionals, and preventing poor mental health through research, policy and advocacy work. 

VCNZ CEO and Registrar Iain McLachlan said signing the statement was one of a number of ways the regulatory authority was working to prioritise veterinary wellbeing in Aotearoa. 

"There are many people around the world who are doing great things to improve mental health and wellbeing, and VCNZ wants to work with them. This will give us a platform to share what we are doing in the wellbeing space, collaborate with global experts, and access international research, which will enhance our own strategy for veterinarians in New Zealand," he said. 

This year, VCNZ has also collaborated with local organisations in the veterinary sector to initiate the development of a wellbeing framework for New Zealand’s veterinary professionals. RCVS CEO Lizzie Lockett says "The RCVS and AVMA are delighted that the Veterinary Council of New Zealand has signed up to our joint Mind Matters International statement. Now, more than ever, we are aware that the veterinary community is global, and shares many common issues, particularly as we consider the impact of COVID-19." 

"It’s important that regulators and associations around the world commit to working together to support our veterinary communities by sharing best practice and resources, and being a strong and united voice on the importance of a safe and supportive culture. We look forward to working with VCNZ on this important agenda." 

VCNZ is Aotearoa’s statutory body responsible for upholding veterinary standards to protect animals, people and veterinary professionals. 

To view the MMI statement on mental health and wellbeing, visit

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