What better way to explore student wellbeing than bringing together experts on the subject? This autumn, Epigeum is organising free events that offer delegates an opportunity to hear from guest speakers and discuss student wellbeing. The first event took place in Manchester on the 17th of October.
The day began at 11 a.m. with registrations and refreshments. Upon arrival at the venue, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the delegates got a chance to network and meet their colleagues from other universities and Epigeum while enjoying a hot cup of coffee.
Alan Stafford, Epigeum’s Director of Academic Partnerships, welcomed everyone to the event and initiated a round of introductions. The event attendees represented different student support roles, and it was interesting to hear both the perspectives of student-facing advisors, as well as of those in managerial roles. All delegates shared a keen interest in learning more about different ways to support student wellbeing and other universities’ experiences, as well as the different options available to them.
The expert presentations were certainly a highlight of the day. Dr. Dominique Thompson, Lead Advisor of Epigeum’s upcoming Being Well, Living Well toolkit project, gave a keynote speech entitled “Student mental health: what is happening, why it’s happening, and how we can best support our students.”
In this engaging presentation, Dr. Thompson drew from both international research as well as her extensive expertise as a Student GP and independent student wellbeing consultant to contextualise the state of student mental health across the world, and offer practical suggestions on what universities can do to better support student wellbeing.
Dr. Thompson’s presentation was followed by a fascinating guest speaker talk by Professor Andrew Hill. Professor Hill runs a research group on perfectionism at York St John University, and is the author of many articles as well as a book on the subject. His research-based presentation detailed different types of perfectionistic tendencies and the impact these can have on individuals and their personal relationships. He also suggested some tested, effective ways in which the more pernicious effects of perfectionism in students could be addressed.
The two presentations were followed by lunch, where delegates had the opportunity to discuss the morning’s sessions.
After the break, Senior Commissioning Editor Naomi Wilkinson introduced plans for Epigeum’s Being Well, Living Well project, a flexible toolkit to support student wellbeing in higher education institutions. After Naomi, Senior Learning Consultant Jonathan Wakeford presented a demo of the Epigeum course Consent Matters. Jonathan also talked through some of the many implementation support options available for Epigeum course users.
At all of our events, we host a roundtable discussion. At this event, it allowed the delegates to discuss different aspects of student wellbeing and reflect on some of the issues that had been raised throughout the day. Topics discussed included the #stepchange framework and whole university approaches to addressing student mental health, language that institutions use around mental health, and different attempts to include student wellbeing as a part of the curriculum. The discussion was lively and insightful, and offered practical suggestions for everyone to take home from the day.
Epigeum’s free student wellbeing events offer institutional representatives a chance to get together to share best practice, network, and hear about our upcoming wellbeing toolkit, Being Well, Living Well. If you are interested in attending a future event in Edinburgh or London, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.