Student Mental Health Conference
Students from the School of Psychology have organised a mental health lived experience conference that invites you to listen to and share experiences of mental distress. The event is open to anyone who is interested in, or who has had direct or indirect experiences of mental distress, and aims to provide an opportunity for madness to be explained by you.
The day will not only offer open discussions (see below for more details) around experiences of mental distress, but it will also include talks from staff and students. Also you will have the opportunity to mingle with organisations and charities (as well as possible volunteer placements) while you enjoy a FREE lunch.
Never spoken about your mental health before? Is there someone you feel would benefit from an open discussion around mental health? Be sure to bring a friend to the day if you feel that would be positive.
Discussion groups in more detail;
Diagnosis and Treatment - For some, a diagnosis provides a framework within which they can conceptualise and understand the experiences they have difficulties with, yet for others, a diagnosis can feel like a label, or a confinement from which they must somehow fight their way out of. For some, diagnoses mark a recognition that they are in need of help and signify the beginning of the road to recovery; yet for others, they reduce and squeeze their feelings and individual needs into a one-size-fits-all mould which may not be valuable. In this session we aim to explore the wide range of attitudes towards the process of receiving a diagnosis and treatment for mental distress. This includes how one gets to the point of being diagnosed, how this process affects a person and whether the future of our mental health services lies in continuing to categorise mental health issues and what alternatives there might be to this approach. Do we need diagnoses in mental health? How similar are they to diagnoses in physical health? If we don’t have diagnoses, what’s the alternative, and how would we decide on treatment? Come and discuss! The structure of the session will be very open and informal so please bring your own questions and ideas - there are no wrong answers!
Recovery and Coping - The meaning of recovery is something very personal. Recovery will mean different things to different people, and individual meanings of recovery will often change over time. Recovery is characterised by feelings of hope, however, the term can sometimes feel charged with the pressure to return back to the person that you were before? It is worth considering the similarities and differences in what it means to recover from both physical and mental health difficulties, and how this relates to current medical models of mental distress. Recovery is a journey that can take time, a journey of goal setting and personal growth that will often have hurdles and setbacks. For this reason, it can also be extremely difficult when supporting a loved one along their road to recovery. We invite you to listen to and share direct and indirect experiences of the recovery process. What does recovery mean to you or your loved one? Is recovery from mental health difficulties possible? What kinds of hurdles do you think people meet along the way? Do you feel you have learnt from your experiences and grown as a person? What do you think of the current recovery model used by mental health services? Whatever your experiences, your opinions will be valued! So please come and share with us your ideas and questions, and remember that you might just help another person along their road to recovery.
Friends and Family - This discussion is for friends and family members of those with mental distress or if you are just interested in learning more about how to support someone. Have you have seen a loved one struggle with mental distress or even cared for them during this time? Quite often we don’t even realise our loved one is experiencing mental distress. We will be sharing our experiences and talking about the impact this has had not only on our loved ones, but also ourselves. You don’t have to have had direct experience with these issues, we invite you to join us for this discussion.