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Sussex highlights student mental health at Parliamentary reception
Government ministers, MPs and peers joined Sussex staff and students in Parliament yesterday to hear about the University’s work on improving young people’s mental health.
The reception held last night (Wednesday 29 November) was attended by more than 50 guests, including MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum, mental health researchers, student wellbeing staff and volunteers, the Students’ Union and members of the University’s leadership team.
Caroline Lucas MP, who sponsored the reception, spoke about the need for better mental health support for all and in particular for students.
Also in attendance was Dr Sophie Dix, Head of Research at the mental health charity MQ. Dr Dix called for increased research spending to help diagnose and better support those living with mental health conditions.
The event was also an opportunity for the University to showcase some of its vital research into mental health.
Professor Gordon Harold, who advises the Government on young people’s mental health, spoke about the work his team are doing to help frontline staff identify those at risk of mental health conditions. Meanwhile, consciousness researchers gave guests the opportunity to explore perception and body image using a virtual reality experience.
Talking with student wellbeing volunteers also gave guests the opportunity to find out more about the support students are giving to one another through peer-to-peer support networks.
“I’m really pleased that people are being recognised for all the hard work they are doing to support students,” said Grainne Gahan, Welfare Officer from the Students’ Union.
“It’s also fantastic to have an opportunity to come together with politicians and to discuss the important issue of student wellbeing.”
The event is part of an ongoing programme to engage with politicians from all parties and to highlight the work the University is doing to support its students.
Vice-Chancellor, Adam Tickell, explained: “The wellbeing of our students is of vital importance, and we are working hard to ensure that all of our students feel well supported when studying at Sussex.
“This reception was an opportunity for us to demonstrate to politicians of all parties how the University is using research from its own academics as well as the expertise of its professional staff to deliver services that support the wellbeing of our students.”