A global initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO), the day is about driving conversation around mental health, and encourage the social, health, education and public sectors to provide comprehensive support to those dealing with mental illness.
2018's theme: ‘Young people and mental health in a changing world’
At King’s College London, we understand the importance of talking openly about mental health. We strive to equip our students with the necessary tools to deal with life’s adversities, build a strong sense of self-awareness, and empower them to know how to ask for help when they or others need it.
Looking for support or resources relating to student wellbeing? Check out the following:
- Our Counselling and Mental Health team offers support via a dedicated group of clinical and counselling psychologists, counsellors, mental health advisers and a resident consultant psychiatrist is also available. The team are committed to engaging students proactively around their mental well-being and thereby enhancing their university experience.
- The King’s Well-being Hub is an online resource that takes a holistic approach to physical, mental, academic and personal well-being. The Well-being Hub offers workshops, toolboxes, coaching and counselling, and also organises events designed to support students in every aspect of their lives.
- Our Peer Support Programme was developed in recognition of the essential role students’ play in supporting and encouraging one another. Find out more about training and the program via the Counselling and Mental Health website.
- The Student Mental Health Research Network (SMaRteN) is a national research network led by King’s College London and funded by UK Research and Innovation, focusing on Student Mental Health in Higher Education. SMaRteN is running a Future Retrospective Event exploring the future of student mental health. Sign up via Eventbrite.
- For resources relating to staff, visit the Wellbeing section of the intranet.
Our research into adolescent mental health
In addition to creating a supportive community, we’re proud of the pioneering research undertaken to understand, prevent and treat mental illness. Our world-class Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) produces more highly cited publications in psychiatry and mental health than any other university in the world, and is particularly proud of its research work aimed at improving the lives of children and young people:
- Earlier in the year, researchers were awarded over £2m to lead new mental health networks. Dr Nicola Byrom will lead the Student Mental Health Research Network (SMaRteN).
- In May 2018, the IoPPN released new research showing that community treatment for adolescent psychiatric patients can reduce self-harm and prevent institutionalisation.
- Dr Sally Marlow recently hosted a BBC Radio 4 series titled ‘Storm and Stress: New Ways of Looking at Adolescent Mental Health’. Dr Marlow covered a breadth of topics in adolescent mental health encompassing views and experiences of young people, researchers and clinicians. In the final episode, Dr Marlow interviewed Jeremy Hunt, who was then Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on some of the issues young people had raised during the making of the series, and on the Government’s green paper on measures to improve mental health support for children and young people.
- A major new study led by Dr Valeria Mondelli is investigating global risk factors for depression by analysing data about family and social environment, stressful experiences, brain images, and biological data, in 10-24 year olds from the UK, Brazil, Nigeria and Nepal.
- King’s was proud education partner for Hussain’s House in July 2018, the UK’s largest mental health youth festival. Hosted by poet and King’s Honorary Fellow Hussain Manawer, the event was attended by over 1000 students and featured talks and performances relating to anxiety, bullying and depression, including an introduction by Professor Dame Til Wykes from the IoPPN.
Putting student mental health front and centre
As part of our commitment to supporting and enhancing the mental and physical wellbeing of students and staff through all aspects of their university experience, King’s recently approved the ‘Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Action Plan 2018-2020’.
This is an ambitious initiative that seeks to promote an environment that both supports our community in times of challenge and helps each individual to thrive. The Plan has been created in collaboration with university staff, students and researchers from IoPPN, to develop a university-wide framework to support students with the latest research and insights.
We balance our fundamental duty of care with supporting students to develop self-efficacy and take ownership of their wellbeing and we foster a culture of mutual support on campus. The Plan is currently being reviewed and will be made available in the near future.