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Student Mental Health- Prevention and Intervention

  • Thursday, 20 April 2023
  • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • 08:30 - 16:30
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

A recent survey of UK students has revealed that almost half have had their university experience impacted by mental health issues. One in four experience loneliness, compared to one in twenty adults in the general population. Experts warn that the legacy of the pandemic has created a mental health crisis amongst the ‘covid generation’ of students.

Open Forum Events is widely acknowledged as a leading organiser of pan public sector conferences, with extensive experience of hosting incisive health and social care events.

To continue the narrative surrounding student wellbeing, we invite you to join us at the 5th Student Mental Health- Prevention and Intervention conference which will deliberate the factors negatively affecting the mental health of students and evaluate the initiatives designed to improve circumstances.

Attendees will benefit from an agenda of plenary presentations, focused on relatable themes and delivered by leading experts and mental health practitioners. The programme will showcase a number of examples of best practice and there will be ample provision for interactive discussion and networking amongst fellow professionals and peers.

This highly regarded conference provides the ideal opportunity for delegates to gain an understanding of current thinking, which can be applied within their own organisations and working practices, to positively contribute to improve student mental health.


Special Offer

In partnership with Embrace Resilience we are offering all delegates a package of free e-learning courses worth £60 when you register for this event.

These courses are used widely across mental health, health, and care sectors. and meet CQC requirements for training and development. In addition to the courses, delegates will have free access to download a toolkit including planners and journals to help with their own personal resilience.

We will send a list of courses from which you can select your free 5 course package after you register.


  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair's Opening Address

  • Lee Fryatt, Retired Inspector, Hampshire Constabulary (confirmed)

Opening Keynote Address

"Supporting Students Struggling with their Mental Health"

The government has pledged to ensure universities have the right tools and expertise needed to spot the early signs of mental health issues and support students by providing sectoral leadership, share best practices and promote new initiatives.

  • Dr Simon Merrywest, Director for the Student Experience and Co-Chair of Greater Manchester Student Mental Health Service Board, The University of Manchester (confirmed)
  • Claire Francis, Head of the Counselling and Mental Health Service , University of Manchester (confirmed)
"Greater Manchester Universities Student Mental Health Service: a new model of student-centred care"

The Greater Manchester University Student Mental Health Service, delivered by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, is a community-based mental health team designed specifically to meet the needs of all higher education students experiencing significant mental ill health. It was commissioned by partners from the NHS and GM’s five higher education institutions (HEIs) in the knowledge that university students are often poorly served by traditional health services, and experience fragmented care which can overlook their needs. The partners have jointly developed an integrated service that provides proactive support and interventions to help students fulfil their university ambitions. A student presenting at any university is now assessed using a common toolkit that ensures they get the most appropriate support thanks to clear pathways.

"m-LAH (Motivation for Learning and Health)"

m-LAH is a government-funded talking initiative that helps motivate secondary school students to lead healthier lifestyles. m-LAH is different to other mental health programmes: it is delivered and facilitated by the students themselves


Case Study


Question and Answer Session

Allocated planned time for speakers to receive questions from the audience and induce further discussion.


Coffee in the Networking Area


Case Study

  • Sarah Hutchings, Head of Engagement, Brain in Hand (confirmed)
  • Amy Salt, Regional Engagement Manager , Brain in Hand (confirmed)
"How an Innovative System of Digital and Human Support Can Increase Student Mental Health and Wellbeing?"

We’ll share how technology can help students recognise their own goals and strengths, create solutions for overcoming problems and aid them towards independently managing time, work, and mental health and wellbeing. Our session will cover how the system builds capability and supports students with their mental health and share real life student stories and outcomes. We will demonstrate how a digital self-management system combining digital tools with human support, has enabled them to successfully transition to university, work towards completing their university degrees and establish transferrable skills that will help as they move on to employment.

"A Study of Race and Mental Health at UK HE Institution"

This very insightful research project on black students with mental health difficulties declaration at the Open University provides an opportunity to rethink the policy aspect of mental health in Higher Education.

  • Charlotte Stewart, Disability & Inclusion Services Manager, Buckinghamshire New University (confirmed)
"Supporting Personality Disorder in Higher Education"

We will cover personality disorder awareness, barriers in higher education for those with personality disorder and recommended support approaches.


Case Study

  • Keith Houghton, Head of Student Support Services, University of Law (confirmed)
"Building a Coherent Mental Health Support Service Within a Geographically Scattered Institution "

Question and Answer Session


Lunch in the Networking Area

A hot, two-course lunch consisting of multiple options will be provided for delegates. We cater for all dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten/dairy-free; just notify us ahead of time should you have any allergens or requirements.


Chair’s Afternoon Address


Case Study

  • Kyle Riding, Head of Programmes , Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (confirmed)
"Gambling and Gaming: Collaborating to Support Students and Prevent Harm"

One in four students who gamble may be experiencing harm and one in two say that gambling has affected their university experience, new research from Censuswide has found. Ygam will take you through their survey of 2,000 students across the UK, which revealed that 71% had gambled in the last 12 months, as well as offering advice on how universities can support the students in their care with our City & Guilds assured staff training, our face-to-face student contact, online resources and ongoing support.


  • Bethany Cliffe, Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol (confirmed)
"Helping Students Who Self-harm: Can digital technology offer an acceptable option?"

University students are particularly at risk of self-harm, but unfortunately very few students seek or receive professional support for it. Digital technology may offer a solution to students who struggle to access support in other ways, but understanding students’ preferences for support for self-harm is key to help overcome barriers of access while also providing support that is acceptable. This talk will discuss findings regarding how students who self-harm appraise different types of support, as well as research into a self-help smartphone app for students who self-harm.

"Ideas for Looking After the Mental Health of Your Students"

The impact of covid has had an overwhelming effect on the mental health of our young people. This session will give you innovative and impactful ways of providing support to reduce the barriers to learning, caused by poor mental health.



Question and Answer Session


Afternoon Refreshment Break

  • Julia Haas, Student Wellbeing & Welfare Manager, King’s College London Students’ Union (KCLSU) and PhD Candidate, King’s College London (confirmed)
"University Peer Support for Student Mental Health & Wellbeing"

Universities are seeking effective ways to address the rising demand of student mental health needs. Peer support is widely considered a viable option to increase university service capacity; however, there is neither consensus on what university peer support is nor an established understanding of its impact on student mental health and wellbeing outcomes. This presentation will present new PhD research investigating university peer support with an exploration of what the intervention looks like in practice at King’s College London.



Closing Keynote Address

"The “Covid Generation” of Students"

The pandemic and lockdown have exacerbated the rates of anxiety, depression and self-harm, resulting in a “significant rise” in young people struggling at university. What can be done to rebuild the wellbeing of these young people?


Question and Answer Session


Chair’s Closing Remarks & Event Close

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Contact Details



    • Posted on 08 November 2021
    • by Matt Buttery
  • Improving Mental Health for All

    • Posted on 23 March 2017
  • Improving the Whole Children and Young People’s Mental Health System

    • Posted on 25 November 2016
  • Children and Young People’s Mental Health: Improving Care, Treatment and Support

    • Posted on 13 December 2017




The Royal National Hotel, London

The Royal National Hotel, London

Offering breathtaking views across Russell Square the hotel is within easy walking distance to the British Museum. Well located with Russell Square underground station a 2 minute walk away.

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