Tuesday 27th June 2017
Creating University-Wide Approaches to Tackling Mental Health – Embedding Support into all Aspects of University Life, Utilising Data to Increase Awareness and Improve Support and Promoting an Anti-Stigma Culture on Campus
Sessions will look at how to overcome the taboo of mental health within universities, particularly through raising awareness via campaigns such as University Mental Health Day, as well as the potential for universities to start collecting data and carrying out self-evaluations of their mental health policies in order to identify areas for improvements. Delegates will consider how institutions can embed student support into all aspects of university, from the transition from school to university, teaching and learning to extra-curricular activities, and with few universities having a formalised mental health strategy, delegates will also consider what needs to be done to create a sector-wide approach to mental health that works for all institutions. The forum will also consider the role of the new Office for Students as well as assess the way forward to implement the recommendations from the forthcoming UUK mental health framework.
Ensuring High Quality Support For Students at all Times – Accessible and Well-Signposted Services, Continuity of Care Between Home and University and Collaboration with External Services
Delegates will look at how to ensure that student support services are both simple to use and well signposted so that students are able to access the provision they need whenever necessary, as well as how to ensure the parity of support between term-times and holidays and consider the question of whether students should be able to be registered with a GP simultaneously at home and at university. Attendees will discuss how to improve relationships and collaborations with external providers of health and wellbeing services, including onsite and offsite GP surgeries, charities and the NHS. With increasing numbers of students enrolling at university putting continued strain on student services, sessions will also look at what more can be done to bridge the gaps in support, and in particular what role peer-to-peer support groups and online or phone services can play in providing advice and guidance to those who need it and whether these services can help remove unnecessary reluctance or embarrassment to seek help.
Supporting Students and Staff Alike – Thorough Training for all Support Staff, Providing a Safe and Healthy Work Environment and Ensuring Staff are Comfortable Asking for Help
With many members of university staff choosing not to disclose or seek help for mental health for fear of being treated differently, sessions will also discuss what can be done to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for the university workforce. Delegates will discuss how the rise in the number of university students over recent years, coupled with rising pressures in an increasingly marketised HE sector, has impacted the number of staff members developing or disclosing they have mental health issues and what more can be done to support staff and help them achieve a better work-life balance. Attendees will also discuss what needs to be done to provide all university staff have sufficient training on mental health policy to not only help them identify and support students who may need it, but also to identify any symptoms in themselves and colleagues.