Student Mental Health: Responding to the Crisis
- 08:30 - 16:45
- The Royal National Hotel, London
Jessica Hyer is a mental health support worker and masters student at The University of Manchester, working towards a PhD in Applied Theatre. Jessica has been able to consistently use her life experience with sex work, sexual abuse, mental health problems and extreme poverty to create supportive opportunities for others in similar circumstances.
In 2019, after undergoing a recovery process, Jessica founded Support for Student Sex Workers, in response for being discharged from services -including rape specific trauma therapy - for coming out as a student sex worker and asking for support.
Support for Student Sex Workers is an online and face to face support network that offers support to anyone that identifies with the community of sex workers. Support Workers for the organisation have all been Samaritans trained and have a wide range of personal and professional experience in order to fit the complex needs of those affected by sex work or those that simply want someone to share with.
At The University of Manchester, the Support for Student Sex Workers Society offers a range of services for people that identify as part of the community of sex workers; including 1-2-1 and group peer support sessions, opportunities to build creative portfolios, meaningful activities and most importantly, treatment of student mental health and victim blaming when speaking out.
Jessica now works for one of the charities she accessed support from during recovery. She advocates for the decriminalisation and destigmatisation of sex work and better support for those who speak out against rape on campus.