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Bloomsbury Institute’s Dr Joan O’ Mahony has high praise for Advance HE’s annual Mental Wellbeing in HE conference

Last week, our Director of Academic Development, Dr Joan O’Mahony, was an invited panel member at Advance HE’s annual Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Conference.

Joan joined fellow panellists Prof Nic Beech, Vice-Chancellor, Middlesex University and Professor Daniel Ladley, Dean of the University of Leicester Business School, to discuss the future of staff wellbeing.

Commenting afterwards, Joan said, “It was an absolute privilege to attend and speak at the event. At Bloomsbury Institute we really do provide a great deal of staff support. That’s core, I think, to ensuring an environment where students and staff can grow and flourish in their studies and careers. But across the sector we are seeing new challenges to student and staff wellbeing, and it is important that we keep abreast of current thinking, new solutions and new ways of doing things”.

Discussing highlights of the Conference, Joan noted that she had particularly enjoyed academic psychologist Dr Lucy Foulkes’ keynote speech: What mental illness really is (and what it isn’t), saying, “I’ve started reading her book (same title) and honestly it is a must read. I also welcome Advance HE’s recent Education for Mental Health toolkit which provides very useful guidance on curricula design.”

Further contributions to the conference came from representatives of many of the professional services bodies, such as AMOSSHE and also TASO (Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education). Bloomsbury Institute continues to benefit from the research and advice these networks and organisations provide. “We’re particularly excited about improvements to approaches in evaluation”, remarked Joan, “as we have a number of interventions and projects in development. Understanding the latest advances in evaluation, will help to enhance the impact of our work”.