Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes
- 16 May 2019
- 10:00 - 16:05
- Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre, London
Open Forum will be holding a follow-up event to our Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes conference, with a focus on topics raised in feedback from delegates that attended the previous event.
May's event facilitated a wide discussion on institutional cultures and practical, strategic approaches towards safeguarding students, including; the importance of preventative care earlier in life to develop resilience in children and young people before they reach FE/HE, assessing pitfalls in the transition from living at home to living at university, addressing student suicide rates and integrating the science of compassion into HE curriculums.
This conference will expand the conversation to include dedicated keynotes and panel discussions covering:
Do you ever wonder why so many teenagers and young people are struggling with mental health issues? Would you like to know how every one of us can better support young people’s wellbeing? At a time of rising psychological distress in young adults, university GP and leading UK student mental health expert, Dr Dominique Thompson shares her experience of caring for thousands of students over 20 years, and challenges us all to help the next generation feel well, live happily and achieve their potential.
Dominique offers a fresh perspective and thought provoking insights for university staff, parents, teachers, and for young people themselves, on the impact of 21st century culture changes on the younger generation, throughout the world.
Dr Leah Moyle has worked on two research papers that spotlight the changing nature of drug markets, drug dealing and cultures of drug use amongst young people. Leah's articles '#Drugsforsale: An exploration of the use of social media and encrypted messaging apps to supply and access drugs' (the first academic investigation into mobile apps in drug markets) and 'Student transitions into drug supply: exploring the university as a risk environment' asses multiple factors in how young people access drugs and how university can compound cultural and environmental conditions that lead students to becoming regular drug users.
Leah's presentation will integrate findings from both papers, including:
Dr. Theo Gilbert and Andrew Marunchak, both based at the University of Hertfordshire, will present on further progress that has been made towards training students and staff in the micro skills of compassion via a multi user virtual reality simulation since the first Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes conference in May,
This training is based on fast emerging scholarship on compassion - from neuroscience, clinical psychology and anthropology - that demonstrates how compassion (noticing the distress or disadvantaging of oneself or others, and acting to reduce or prevent that) is an entirely practical motivation (not an emotion) and that it enhances interpersonal dynamics and quality of subject-related decision-making and critical thinking in task-focused groups.
The micro skills of compassion are therefore now credit bearing on some degree programmes in HE, and this is expected to develop quickly in the next ten years as the underpinning science continues to grow. Indeed, findings in this area have increased demand amongst universities for training in these skills and this has given rise to the impetus for such training to be delivered through VR. The presentation will include clips of video footage from within the simulation to demonstrate the experience and advocacy of this learning experience to audiences.
Ben Channon's recently published book 'Happy by Design: A Guide to Architecture and Mental Wellbeing' asks; can good design truly make us happier? Ben argues that, given we spend over 80% of our time in buildings, shouldn't we have a better understanding of how they make us feel? In his presentation, Ben will explore the ways in which the design of FE/HE facilities, estates and halls of residence impact student mental health - how can the architectural design of HE facilities and estates make students and faculty happy whilst supporting mental health?
Synopsis coming soon...
Meera Kavia, a final year Psychology student who has lived experience struggling with mental health, developed practical suggestions to support students during the transition period between living at home and living independently. In this testimonial, Meera will draw from her own experience and share her recommendations for supporting students in establishing new relationships at university before, during and after the transition to university.
Alongside his remit as Head of Counselling at the University of Oxford, Alan Percy is Chair of both the Executive Committee for the Heads of University Counselling Services and the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Working Group. Alan is a well-published writer across topics pertinent to supporting student mental health, such as; the impact of outsourcing services, counteracting perfectionism, supporting students during exam periods and the different MH challenges faced by undergraduate/postgraduate students.
Professor Richard Hall, in collaboration with Professor Kate Bowles at Australia's Wollongong University, authored the article 'Re-engineering Higher Education: The Subsumption of Academic Labour and the Exploitation of Anxiety' for the Workplace journal. The essay analyses the political economy of higher education, in terms of Marx and Engels’ conception of subsumption. It addresses the twin processes of formal and real subsumption, in terms of the re-engineering of the governance of higher education and the re-production of academic labour in the name of value.
In his presentation, Professor Hall will elaborate on how neoliberal marketisation of HE are driving universities to becoming anxiety machines.
Open Forum are collaborating with Annabelle Howard - a second year English & Film student at the University of Bristol - to host a one-on-one debate between a representative from the Russell Group association and a non-Russell Group university. They will compare and contrast their respective approaches to addressing the mental health needs of students.
Annabelle Howard attended Open Forum's Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes conference in London on behalf of the University of Bristol - submitting a report on the event back to the institute's School of Arts in order to contribute to the further development of Bristol's mental health policy. Annabelle's feedback was received by Open Forum and subsequent to conversations between Annabelle and the conference producer, OFE invited Annabelle to deliver on one of her suggestions for the conference programme; a one-on-one debate between representatives from a Russell Group institute and non-RG university.
Annabelle will work with Open Forum to source the participants and develop an agenda of topics to be debated.
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If you are awaiting funding you can request us to hold your place today to ensure you do not miss out.
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