Safeguarding Students: Addressing Mental Health Needs
- 10:00 - 16:25
- Manchester Conference Centre
Dr. Theo Gilbert is the recipient of the THE's 'Most Innovative Teacher of 2018' award. An SFHEA and an Associate Professor, Learning and Teaching at the University of Hertfordshire. In relation to the current student mental health crisis in HE, he is urging for public debate for delays in applying growing, multi-disciplinary scholarship on the science of compassion in the modern HE classroom. For this purpose, along with publications in journals, books and the THE, he has collaborated with Upswing, a UK national theatre company, has featured on BBC radio, runs workshops in schools and universities on the compassionate group skills and is about to introduce a webinar series hosted by six universities on their application of the micro skills of compassion in their respective disciplines. He has developed a network of staff from, so far, 40 universities - in the UK, Canada, Europe, the USA and Asia - who are engaging with the above approach to group/team work for staff and students, including in terms of funded research. (To join, see: https://compassioninhe.wordpress.com/contact/ ).
Thanks to VR reality expert and colleague, Andrew Marunchak, he is now pursuing a virtual reality training simulation in the compassionate behavioural skills for group work. The team’s hope is to develop free Virtual Reality software to help train teaching staff and students anywhere in the world as cost effectively and inclusively in compassionate group dynamics. It may be possible to normalise in the modern class room the easy application of what neuroscience, clinical psychology and anthropology are presenting to education as a gift in relation to compassion.