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Mental wellbeing in HE conference programme now live

22 Feb 2024 | Géraldine Dufour Géraldine Dufour, former head of counselling at the University of Cambridge and Vice-Chair for the 2024 Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education (MWBHE) conference organising group, shares what is special about this year’s conference programme.

As professionals in higher education, we know that it’s good to keep up with developments in our sector, but it can be hard to find the time to look at what our colleagues are doing, identify what reports are the most relevant and to synthesise what and how to apply this to our institutions, particularly when our inboxes are filled with urgent demands. 

When we plan our annual Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education conference, we do all that hard work for you! 


Our group is made up of expert practitioners from different backgrounds, which give us a unique and in-depth perspective of the issues facing the sector. 

I am a former head of counselling, and our committee of members is made up of a GP, university counsellors, mental health advisors, heads of services and specialist consultants with extensive sector experience. Some of us are student facing, delivering support to students; others work in roles where they incorporate wellbeing through the curriculum. Some work at more strategic levels. Between us we have years of experience supporting students, and developing services that are sector leading. Many of us are representative on national task forces, committees and working groups. With our in-depth knowledge of the sector, we can select speakers and research projects that are ground-breaking and insightful. 

Programme highlights 

I always think that it’s a good sign if you want to attend the conference that you are putting together – and this year, I feel particularly excited about our programme spanning best practice and future developments. It will be most interesting to hear things fresh off the press about the findings of the mental health task force and researchers.   

Given how crucial retaining students on health courses is to future health provision, I look forward to hearing about an initiative implementing and evaluating Interprofessional Student Schwartz Rounds as a form of wellbeing focused reflective practice.  

Creating a predictive approach to mental health in students is the holy grail in terms of data analytics, so I am intrigued to hear about the use of AI to develop a predictive approach to student mental health. 

We will hear about how the menopause impacts on mental wellbeing in the workplace - a very timely presentation, given how many women colleagues this affects. 

Student suicide is such an important topic, and one that we all dread facing. I know many of us will want to hear about the training and support implications from a study on student suicide in universities. 

It’s difficult to choose which sessions to highlight as so many are topical, so I must declare that I have a particular interest in this group, as I was one of its founding members, so I look forward to hearing about the SCORE group next steps in practice-based research. 

There is so much to choose from, that it is hard to choose what to prioritise in terms of sessions – always the sign of a good conference to me! Have a look at our programme to see what is relevant to you and your practice. 

Don't miss this opportunity to learn with us, network with your peers and enhance your skills and knowledge on student and staff mental health.#


Géraldine Dufour is an expert in university wellbeing, counselling and mental health. Former head of counselling at the University of Cambridge, chair of national committees and founding member of research groups in student mental health, Géraldine works with individuals and organisations across the sector offering specialist HE therapeutic consultancy, training, coaching and supervision.

Mental Wellbeing in HE Conference 2024: Better than rocket science! “Futureproofing” student and staff wellbeing

15 May 2024, Leeds

Delivered in collaboration with the Mental Wellbeing in HE Expert Group, this conference will address issues of mental wellbeing across all aspects of higher education. Find out more and book your place.

We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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