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Mental Wellbeing

Mental Wellbeing in HE Conference 2022: Reading the Tea Leaves - Preparing for the Future of Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education

Delivered in collaboration with the Mental Wellbeing in HE Expert Group, this one-day conference will address issues of mental wellbeing across all aspects of higher education.

It is increasingly recognised how important mental health and wellbeing is for staff and student success. Universities and colleges are fast -developing ‘whole institution approaches’ to mental health and wellbeing, not only to improve academic outcomes and retention, but to provide a holistic and positive experience, even in the most challenging times. This one-day conference, organised by the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Expert Group in collaboration with Advance HE, will discuss new ideas and will aim to provide a boost in motivation and a fresh vision for all delegates. It will explore established and successful examples from the sector, share good practice, discuss the challenges when looking at mental health and wellbeing, and review ways to overcome possible difficulties.

Following a period of significant international and campus turmoil, a change to how wellbeing support and therapy are delivered, and a rise in demand for support, this conference will explore the future of mental wellbeing in higher education, and ask keynote speakers and panellists two significant questions: What direction is student and staff wellbeing support going in? and What can we do to prepare ourselves for the future? 

This conference, run by frontline support staff, for frontline support staff, will offer the very latest thinking on student and staff mental health in higher education.

Join the conversation #MWBHE22

Date: 17 May 2022
Location: Conference Aston, Birmingham
Who: Anyone who works with or support students

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Programme

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Programme

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Conference chair

Dr Dominique Thompson

Interim Chair, Mental Wellbeing in HE Expert Group
Dr Dominique Thompson
Dominique is an award winning GP, young people's mental health expert, TEDx speaker, author and educator, with two decades of clinical experience. She is author of The Student Wellbeing Series (Trigger Press), and co-author of How to Grow a Grown Up (PenguinRandomHouse). In 2021 Dom was delighted to be shortlisted alongside academic colleagues from the University of Nottingham for a THE Award – ‘Hungry for Words (Men get eating disorders too)’.
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Keynote speakers

Sarah Chappell

Senior Research Officer
,
Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in HE (TASO)
Sarah Chappell TASO
Sarah is Senior Research Officer at Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in HE (TASO), leading on their student mental health research theme.

Lucy Foulkes

Author and Honorary Lecturer
,
University College London
Lucy Foulkes
Dr Lucy Foulkes is an academic psychologist with expertise in adolescent and student mental health. She is an honorary lecturer at University College London (UCL) and a senior research fellow at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. She is author of the book Losing Our Minds: What Mental Illness Is Really Is – And Isn’t (Penguin Random House, 2021), which explores how we talk about mental health and illness, particularly in young people.

Mike Palmer

Mike Palmer
My name is Mike Palmer and I lost my beloved daughter Beth to suicide in March 2020, in the first week of Covid lockdown. She was just 17. Once a bulletproof firefighter my world became the dark and surreal place that is complex grief.
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Panel Sessions

1. The future of out-of-hours support

Chair: Géraldine Dufour, Vice-Chair, MWBHE Expert Group

  • Ben Lewis, Director, Student Support and Wellbeing, Cardiff University
  • Jacob Kelly, Student Trustee, Nightline Association

Géraldine Dufour

Consultant, Therapeutic Consultation
Géraldine Dufour
Having worked for over 20 years in universities, Géraldine set up Therapeutic Consultation so she can work directly with universities and colleges across the sector on issues related to student mental health and wellbeing. Vice-Chair of the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Expert Group (MWBHE) at Advance HE, UK, Chair of the Academic Committee of China-UK University Counselling Association, Géraldine is the past Chair of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Universities & Colleges Division, and the national group for Heads of University Counselling Services (HUCS).

Ben Lewis

Director of Student Life
,
Cardiff University
Ben Lewis
Ben has worked for Cardiff University since 2004, he was made Director of Student Support and Wellbeing in 2013. The department name was changed to Student Life in 2021 when the Centre for Student Life opened.

Jacob Kelly

Student Trustee, Nightline Association
Jacob Kelly, Nightline Association
Jacob is a student trustee of the Nightline Association, representing the interests of students at board level. Before graduating from the University of Oxford in 2021, Jacob volunteered with Oxford Nightline for several years and held a number of roles across the charity, eventually serving for two terms as its coordinator. Away from his work on student mental wellbeing, Jacob works full-time running an education charity based in London.

Augusta Chidinma Nnajiofor

Student Advice Team Coordinator
,
University of West of England
Augusta Chidinma Nnajiofor
Augusta Chidinma Nnajiofor is an advocate for equality, diversity, inclusion and mental health - spearheading multiple campaigns to create a more inclusive environment for students at the University of the West of England Bristol. Augusta was the President of The Students’ Union at UWE representing over 30,000 students and championing the student voice at all levels of the University as a member of the University’s Board of Governors and Chair of the SU Board of Trustees. As President, she worked collaboratively with the University’s Directorate team and senior members of the University on student-focused partnership projects. Some of which include Improving Assessment and Feedback, Building Learning Communities, Financial support for international students in hardship and Reducing Health Inequalities.

2. The future of building community and developing population-based approaches to wellbeing on and off campus

Chair: Emma Nieminen, Nightline

  • Dr Denise Meyer, Head of Wellbeing (Counselling and Mental Health), University of Portsmouth
  • Dr Allán Laville, Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, University of Reading
  • Ben Morley, Managing Director, True Student

Emma Nieminen

Senior Operations Officer, Nightline
Emma Nieminen
Emma is the Senior Operations Officer for Nightline Association, the umbrella charity that supports, promotes, and develops student-run Nightline listening services across the country. Emma has volunteered and worked in the student support sector for over 10 years, with special interests in suicide prevention, training, and the power of peer support. She recently led the development of a bespoke suicide calls training package for Nightline volunteers in partnership with the Charlie Waller Trust as well as an organisation-wide suicide policy review and update to best practice.

Dr Denise Meyer

Head of Wellbeing (Counselling and Mental Health)
,
University of Portsmouth
Dr Denise Meyer
Denise is a BPS chartered psychologist and BACP senior accredited counsellor and has worked in university support services and as a thought leader and consultant in the sector since 1995.

Dr Allán Laville

Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
,
University of Reading
Dr Allán Leville
Dr Allán Laville is the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion & Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Reading.

Ben Morley

Managing Director
,
true Student Ltd
Ben Morley true Student Ltd
As the Managing Director of the award-winning ‘true’ brand, with a spell as Operations Director under his belt, Ben is an engaging leader with more than twenty years’ experience in retailing and hospitality, with expertise at board level across differing ownership models in both UK & International markets.

3. The future of staff wellbeing

Chair: Laura Smythson, University of Surrey and Student Health Association

  • Professor Nic Beech, Vice-Chancellor, Middlesex University
  • Professor Daniel Ladley, Professor of Finance, University of Leicester

Laura Smythson

Head of Wellbeing and Welfare
,
University of Surrey
Laura Smythson
Laura has a background in general nursing and now leads the Wellbeing and Welfare department at the University of Surrey. Laura's expertise lies in eating disorders and contagious disease planning in higher education, and was at the forefront of Europe's largest meningitis B vaccination programme in response to a cluster. Pandemic planning has been high on her agenda for the sector and has been involved in the response from the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Professor Daniel Ladley

Dean of the University of Leicester School of Business and Professor of Finance
,
University of Leicester
Professor Daniel Ladley
Daniel Ladley is the Dean of the University of Leicester School of Business and Professor of Finance. He joined the University of Leicester as a lecturer in 2008 and has since held various positions including Deputy Dean and Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching.

Nic Beech

Vice Chancellor
,
Middlesex University
Nic Beech
Nic Beech is Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University having previously been a Vice-Principal of the University of St Andrews, Provost of the University of Dundee and Lead Fellow of the ESRC Advanced Institute of Management. He is President of the British Academy of Management, Hon. Treasurer of the Academy of Social Sciences, Chair of the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment, Chair of AccessHE and on the board of the UK Quality Assurance Agency, London Higher and the Chartered Management Institute Race Network.

Dr Joan O' Mahony

Director of Academic Development
,
Bloomsbury Institute
Dr Joan O' Mahony
Joan is Director of Academic Development at Bloomsbury Institute. Previously she was Senior Adviser for Teaching & Learning at Advance HE and before that at Higher Education Academy where she led the HEA’s work on student retention.

4. The future of suicide prevention

Chair: Nic Streatfield, University of East London and AMOSSHE

  • Treasa Fox, Head of Counselling Service and Project Lead, SynthSCS Project, Technological University of the Shannon
  • Dr Sharon Mallon, Senior Lecturer (Mental Health), The Open University
  • Vicky Groves, Chair of BACP Universities Division

Nic Streatfield

Director of Student Life and Wellbeing
,
University of York
Nic Streatfield
Nic Streatfield is AMOSSHE Vice Chair (Professional Development) and Director of Student Life and Wellbeing at the University of York. A psychotherapist by training Nic has worked in university student support for nearly twenty years. Nic is one of twelve University Mental Health Charter assessors, a co-author of ‘Getting to Grips with Safeguarding; A guide for Governors’ (Advance HE, 2018) and has chapters published in ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing in H.E. A practical guide’ (Sage, 2019) and ‘Preventing and Responding to Student Suicide’ (Jessica Kingsley, Nov 2021).

Treasa Fox

Head of Student Counselling Service, Technological University of the Shannon
Treasa Fox
Treasa Fox holds an MSc in Counselling Psychology, and is Head of Student Counselling Service in TUS Midlands (formerly AIT) for the past 27 years. She leads a team of 9 full and part-time counsellors delivering free confidential psychological counselling services to TUS Midlands students. Treasa is a student mental health specialist, and for several years has been spokesperson for Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI). Treasa was lead author on the HEA “National Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Framework” and chapter co-author in Preventing and Responding to Student Suicide: A Practical Guide for FE and HE Settings. Treasa is project lead on various sector-wide HEA funded student mental health projects.

Vicky Groves

Chair of Heads of University Counselling Services (HUCS)
Vicky Groves
Vicky Groves is a (BACP) senior accredited counsellor and supervisor and is Chair of Heads of University Counselling Services (HUCS).

Dr Sharon Mallon

Senior Lecturer in Mental Health
,
The Open University
Dr Sharon Mallon
Dr. Sharon Mallon (BSc. Ph.D, SFHEA) is a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health at the Open University who specialises in research into suicide prevention and postvention. She was one of the authors of RAPSS (Response and Prevention of Student Suicide) study and was awarded a PhD in for a qualitative study of young adults' suicides from the perspective of their friends.

Sponsors

Mayden
iaptus

Mayden design, build and support insightful and interoperable systems for healthcare services in the UK and abroad. Find out more about Mayden

iaptus is a user friendly, cloud based and completely customisable electronic patient record (EPR) built to support psychological therapy services delivered by the NHS, charities, third sector providers and in private practice. Find out more about iaptus.

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Accommodation

Accommodation for delegates at the conference venue

Conference delegates can book accommodation at the Conference Aston Hotel.

Located at the heart of Birmingham city centre, on the green campus of Aston University, the Conference Aston Hotel is 10 minutes walk from the city's three mainline stations, as well as key attractions including Bullring, Grand Central and Mailbox.

Accommodation booking link
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