University to host first Mental Health Summit

Gary Hughes

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (15- 21 May), Kent is hosting its first Mental Health Summit on Saturday 13 May on the Canterbury campus (Sibson Building), 9.30am to 5pm. The event is free and open to all.

Attendees will have an opportunity to hear from clinical psychologists, specialists, influencers and charities on the topic of mental health and wellbeing.

Presentation and discussion topics will include anxiety, depression and low mood, psychosis, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. There will be a focus on what some of these difficulties look like, what guidelines recommend and what the process of working on these might entail both within and outside of help from services.

The day’s speakers include Richard Burnett from the Mindfulness In Schools Project; Michael James Wong, the founder of the Just Breathe Project and a leading voice in the global movement for modern mindfulness; Charlotte Price, a body positivity influencer; and Leigh Johnstone (aka ‘The Beardy Gardener’), a mental health advocate who strongly believes in the positive influence of plants; and Millie Gooch, founder of the Sober Girl Society.

There will also be a networking and information/good practice exchange opportunity during the lunchtime Mental Health Fair, which will be attended by a range of services and local companies/charities.

Event organiser and a University of Kent lecturer and clinical psychologist, Dr Emma Travers-Hill, said: ‘We all know the importance of looking after our mental health yet we are often left with lots of how, where and what questions that can get in the way of us doing it. We are excited to be holding this summit event for everyone in our local community to help to unpick some of the most common difficulties (during the morning sessions), discover services (over lunchtime) and have some fun exploring a range of activities that can help boost our wellbeing (in the afternoon). We look forward to seeing you there.’

Further information, including how to book tickets for this free event, is available via Eventbrite.

Information on the University’s own support for students with mental health concerns can be found on our Student Support and Wellbeing website. Our team of expert staff offers free support to all enrolled students for mental health, as well as neurodiversity, chronic conditions and disabilities. As well as online, in person and telephone support from our mental health team, students have access to a free counselling service, 24/7 support from partner organisations, and events and resources throughout the year to help them enhance their wellbeing and thrive at university.

Dr Emma Travers-Hill