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

We are all by now accustomed to coming across media articles, blogs, twitter posts reminding us that ‘more academics and students have mental health problems than ever before,’ and that ‘half of UK academics are stressed and 40% thinking of leaving.’ Although awareness of the scale of the mental health crisis across the academic career spectrum is growing, attempts to redress such issues remain woefully inadequate. Academic institutions have been accused of having a ‘silencing effect’ and a ‘culture of acceptance around mental health issues.’ Less than 11% of universities have 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 university, to discuss the different issues facing academics in the School at various stages of career, as well as how these issues cut-across gender, race, sexuality, class, and religion. But crucially, we also want this event to provide a space to discuss what we can actually do about these issues, both at a School level and beyond the University.
The event will begin with lunch, followed by a keynote conversation between two specialists which will provide a broader overview, and then a series of three panels and one break-out session, each addressing a different aspect of distress: exhaustion, competition, rejection, and uncertainty. If you are interested in attending, please email harry.pettit@ouce.ox.ac.uk or Thomas.jellis@ouce.ox.ac.uk
Lunch provided