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Mental wellbeing in HE: translating strategy into action

27 Apr 2023 | Advance HE Advance HE’s Mental Wellbeing in HE Conference returns for a third year, continuing the important discussion around issues of mental wellbeing across all aspects of higher education.

Advance HE is set to host the Mental Wellbeing in HE Conference in collaboration with the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education (MWBHE) Expert Group on 16 May in Manchester. The event aims to bring together experts in the field of mental wellbeing and higher education to discuss and share best practices, research and innovations, building on the success of last year’s conference.  

Mental health has become an increasingly important issue in higher education, with many students and staff facing a range of challenges that can impact their wellbeing. The conference is designed to create a platform for attendees to share their experiences and insights on how to support mental wellbeing in higher education institutions. It will also provide an opportunity for attendees to learn from experts in the field and to network with peers from across the sector.

We spoke to some members of the MWBHE Expert Group and the keynote speaker to find out what they are looking forward to about the conference.

“I’m excited to be speaking at Advance HE’s Mental Wellbeing in HE Conference 2023 as it focuses on ensuring that support for good mental health and wellbeing is everybody’s business. We have good evidence that working in partnership across the whole institution is key to embedding this approach.  

“The conference provides an excellent opportunity to consider how we put this into practice in our physical spaces, online presence and as a core part of the processes and systems that support the teaching and learning at the heart of the university. By sharing good practice across the sector, we have a real opportunity to embed wellbeing support in the whole university, supporting students and staff to achieve their potential.” 

Liz Brewster - Senior Lecturer in Medical Education at Lancaster University, Keynote speaker

“This year’s conference is in many ways the event I’ve been wanting to attend for several years – a day that focuses on the space where strategy translates into action, and we can hear from colleagues across the UK about the projects, initiatives and practices that embody a whole university approach to positive student and staff mental wellbeing.  

“Our aim is to invert the focus and create an opportunity to both learn about new creative ideas and, just as importantly, hear about the ongoing, embedded good practice that is continuing in HEIs. We are paying attention to examples of cross-institutional working, particularly where specialist mental health, wellbeing and counselling teams have found ways to work with colleagues in other services, academic departments and areas of student support.  

“This feels particularly important as the busy-ness and demands of our day jobs can occlude the space to notice opportunities and come up with different ways of working, and one of our aims is that this day will provide this – not just a showcasing event but a creative, productive space to listen, talk, think and reflect together on what is working, and where projects have not achieved their intended aims, a supportive space to share learning. We are looking forward to meeting you!" 

Jane Harris - Co-chair of the MWBHE Expert Group

“I am looking forward to meeting colleagues face-to-face at the Mental Wellbeing in HE Conference to hear how other front-line professionals put theory into practice to create a whole university approach to student and staff wellbeing.  

“I will be running a workshop on the cost-of-living impact on student mental wellbeing, and looking forward to helping participants think about useful interventions to mitigate the impact on student mental health.  

“I want to hear from colleagues sharing their learnings on topics such as innovative ways of embedding wellbeing in the curriculum, supporting disabled postgraduate students through mentoring and using coaching in doctoral supervision. Using both mentoring and coaching in my work, I expect these workshops will have direct relevance to my daily work.  

“But to be honest after so long away from colleagues during Covid, I am also excited to travel and be in Manchester again, particularly since is the last place I visited before lockdown for a conference in March 2020!” 

Géraldine Dufour - Consultant, Therapeutic Consultation and Vice-Chair of the MWBHE Expert Group

Mental Wellbeing in HE Conference 2023

For more information on real-world examples of how experts are putting into practice the strategic goal of a whole university approaches to student and staff wellbeing come join Advance HE’s Mental Wellbeing in HE Conference on 16 May 2023 at Mercure Piccadilly Hotel, Manchester. Find out more


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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