further & higher education Training

In-House: Enhancing Student Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education

further & higher education Training

With 94% of universities in the UK experiencing a rise in the demand for student counselling services over the past 5 years, and only 29% having an explicit strategy for student mental health and wellbeing in place, it is essential that universities are effectively prepared to support their student’s mental wellbeing.

This interactive training course allows your institution to create a holistic strategy to improve student mental health and experience. The high quality case studies and practical workshops will enable you to create a tailored action plan to help implement the latest guidance and embed excellence within your institution.


Learning Objectives:
  • Take away guidance on how to prevent and respond to student suicides
  • Gain insight into how to support academic staff in identifying and safeguarding student mental wellbeing
  • Understand how student mental health needs can vary
  • Develop an action plan to effectively support your students going forward
  • Create your own strategy to implement the latest guidance and embed excellence within your university
View the agenda and additional speakers
Dr Dominique Thompson

Student Mental Health Expert

Dr Dominique Thompson has been a GP since 2000, and was Director of the University of Bristol Students’ Health Service from 2010-17. As Director she led an innovative drive to develop new services, including the original pilot for the now Bristol-wide, primary care eating disorders service (First Step), and a primary care based psychology service for students with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (SHERPa).

In 2018 Dominique was a speaker for TEDx Bath with her talk “What I Learnt from 78,000 GP Consultations with University Students.”

She was the GP member of the NICE Eating Disorders Guidelines Development Group 2015-17.

The University Practice was named Bristol GP Practice of the Year 2016, and in 2017 Dominique was named Bristol Healthcare Professional of the Year.

After 17 years as a GP, Dominique has now launched her own student health and wellbeing consultancy, to assist universities, the NHS and other organisations in improving their student support offer. She also offers training in a range of mental health related topics to university and school staff.

Since May 2018 Dominique has held a non-executive Director role at 2gether Mental Health Trust, in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

Dominique writes frequently about young adult wellbeing, eating disorders and mental health in both the medical and non-medical press. She has collaborated on mental health apps and website development, and written book chapters on mental health, for publication in 2018/19.

Twitter @DrdomThompson

You can find out more, and contact her at www.buzzconsulting.co.uk


Dave Corcoran

Director of Student Support and Transition, University of Chichester

Dave has lead the Student Support and Wellbeing team at the University of Chichester for the last 6 years since he moved from the Further Education sector where he had fulfilled teaching, leadership and management roles over a 20 year period. At the University he has leadership and oversight of a number of inter-related teams including those that serve students and staff addressing mental health, medical concerns, disability, counselling and financial concerns to name but a few.

Dave has several cross-University management responsibilities, many of which he has created where a need has been perceived to exist or has developed. Examples include retention, attendance management, cross-University training addressing Safeguarding and Prevent, Academic Advisor training and a comprehensive programme of workshops delivered by his team to academic colleagues. The content of which includes sessions on mental health, sexual assault and from January 2019, suicide prevention. These sessions also explore boundaries, thresholds and self-care for academic staff. Under Dave’s guidance the University continues to explore reasonable partnership working that supports both students and staff resulting in a more fluid package of support for all both inside and outside of the University.

Alan Percy

Head of Counselling,

University of Oxford

Alan has been at the Counselling Service at the University of Oxford for the last 18 years and is currently the Head of Counselling. He is a qualified Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), an accredited clinical supervisor with UKCP, a Senior Accredited Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), currently Chair of the Executive Committee for the Heads of University Counselling Services (HUCS) 2017-19. He is involved in many different ventures to promote mental well-being, such as a member of the Advisory Panel for the ‘Students Against Depression’ website and has been involved in developing suicide prevention strategies at a local and national level. In the past ten years Alan has given many lectures and presentations on the theme of student counselling and young adult mental health. He was awarded a visiting professorship in psychology at Fudan University, Shanghai in 2016.

After graduating from Bristol University in Sociology and Philosophy, Alan started his working life in youth and community work in London in the early 1980’s.

From that experience he became committed to developing different practical therapeutic strategies to help young people and adults suffering from psychological and emotional distress and the effects of mental illness to achieve their life goals. He initially trained in Humanist Psychotherapy and Group Facilitation, gaining a Post Graduate Diploma at Surrey University’s Centre for Human Potential. Alan later qualified with a Masters in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from the Institute of Psychotherapy and Social Studies and London Metropolitan University. He has worked at a wide range of Further and Higher Education Institutions both as a counsellor and lecturer for over the last 28 years. He worked as the ‘Student Services Officer’ at Vauxhall and Lambeth FE College, London and as a counsellor and lecturer at Middlesex University, London.





Chair’s Welcome and Clarification of Learning Objectives


Understanding Student Needs: Challenges and Guidance

  • Learn about the difference in needs between undergraduate and postgraduate students and their mental health
  • Get to grips with the challenges faced by first year students when living independently for the first time
  • Identify the key challenges of effectively supporting student mental wellbeing
  • Evaluate different methods of promoting student support services to students


Morning Break


Workshop: Ensuring Academic Staff Can Support Student Mental Wellbeing

Review the training and support of university staff and how to they can be supported to support students.

  • Learn how to ensure a positive and close relationship between academics and student services
  • Develop plans to effectively train your academic staff to identify and deal with student mental wellbeing


Preventing and Responding to Student Suicides

  • Discuss the national policy landscape surrounding student suicides
  • Understand haw to respond to student suicide, communicate with family, staff and other students
  • Identify preventative measures that can be put in place in your institution
  • Learn about the possible warning signs that may present in students




Workshop: Embed Best Practice within Your Institution - Where Are You Now?

In this session, delegates will work with the chair to review their institution’s effectiveness in the area of mental wellbeing support.

  • Examine the key challenges within your institution
  • Evaluate your current procedures by discussing case examples and scenarios
  • Assess the key strengths and weaknesses in your institutions’ current practice


Afternoon Break


Workshop: Embed Best Practice within Your Institution - Next Steps

In group activities, delegates will consider existing guidance and best practice examples to consider areas for development within their own service.

  • Identify areas for improvement in your organisation’s mental wellbeing services
  • Analyse the barriers to realising improvements and how to overcome them
  • Consider how best to train and support university staff
  • Develop an action plan to effectively support your students going forward


Feedback, Evaluation & Close

Programme subject to change

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Open Course Option

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