TV presenter Chrissy B was invited to speak about her experience with depression at Nottingham University, at the UK’s first student-led conference on the issue of mental health in higher education.
The conference was organised by Josephine NwaAmaka Bardi, a registered mental health nurse and PhD student, who launched the Raise Awareness of Mental Health in Higher Education (RAMHHE) campaign.
Ms Bardi said, “My passion to raise awareness of mental health in higher education began from my interaction with students who had experiences of mental ill-health. It broke my heart to watch, listen and hear them cry. They cried and I cried because there was very little that I could do at the time.”
The conference took place on 10 October with the objective to remove stigma around mental health in higher education, and act as an inclusive day for staff, students, mental health experts and service providers to discuss perceptions of mental health and recovery.
Areas covered were:
Why do higher education students experience mental health issues?
How can an awareness of mental health be created among higher education students?
What strategies can be put in place to better support mental health among higher education students?
How can peer to peer support for mental health be promoted among higher education students?
How can a space be provided for higher education students to express their views and perceptions of mental health?
Chrissy B said, “I was so happy to talk about my experience of being at University whilst battling depression and panic attacks. At the time, I kept what I was going through to myself as I didn’t think that anyone would understand. Having fully recovered from mental health issues at the UCKG HelpCentre, I was able to confidently speak about the importance of opening up and also offer advice to tutors on how to best help their students. I’m really looking forward to similar events in the future.”