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      Enough! Mental health in the university - what can we do about it? in Oxford

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      November 15, 2019

      Friday  12:15 PM

      Oxford University Centre for the Environment , South Parks Road
      Oxford, Oxfordshire

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      Enough! Mental health in the university - what can we do about it?

      We are all by now accustomed to coming across media articles, blogs, and twitter posts reminding us that ‘more academics and students have mental health problems than ever before,’ or that ‘half of UK academics are stressed and 40% thinking of leaving.’ The crisis in mental health is not just affecting academic staff of course. It has been found that professional service staff are often the biggest users of university counselling services. Although awareness of the scale of mental health issues within universities is growing, awareness of and attempts to redress the structural causes remain inadequate. Academic institutions have been accused of having a ‘silencing effect’ and a ‘culture of acceptance around mental health issues,’ with less than 11% of universities having a specific well-being policy for staff. This event aims to bring together staff in the Oxford University School of Geography & Environment, as well as representatives from bodies across the Social Science Division and wider university, to discuss the different issues facing both academics from various career stages and professional staff in the School, as well as how these issues cut-across gender, race, sexuality, class, and religion. We also want this event to provide a space to discuss what can actually be done to improve the current situation, both at School and University level, as well as looking beyond. The event will begin with lunch for all attendees, followed by a keynote conversation between Dr Liz Morrish, independent scholar and author of Pressure Vessels: The epidemic of poor mental health among higher education staff (HEPI Occasional Paper), and Dr Jay Watts, Consultant clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, activist, and writer on societal mental health issues. We will then have two panels and one break-out session, each addressing a different aspect of distress cutting across the experience of academics and professional staff: exhaustion, competition, and uncertainty. We will then conclude by suggesting some concrete areas for advocacy and further discussion. For more information about the event, please email or Schedule: 12.15-13.00 – lunch 13.00-14.00 – Keynote by Dr Liz Morrish and Dr Jay Watts 14.00-14.45 – Panel: Uncertainty 15.00-15.45 – Breakout session: Competition 16.00-16.45 – Panel: Exhaustion 16.45-17.15 – Concluding thoughts

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