Dealing with student mental health crises

  • 17 November 2017
  • 09:30 - 16:30
  • Holiday Inn Camden Lock, London
  • 1

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Dealing with student mental health crisesDealing with student mental health crises

This continuing professional development event explores practical Student Services approaches for dealing with student mental health crises, through case studies, shared experience and exemplary practice.

Consider key issues such as:

  • Identifying risk and what constitutes a crisis.
  • Effective interventions.
  • Suicide prevention and postvention strategies.
  • Supporting staff as well as students.
  • Engaging with statutory services, emergency contacts and next of kin.
  • Handling data.
  • Making the most of lessons learned.

AMOSSHE members can find the event resources here:

Members only

Location, time and price

This one day event takes place at the Holiday Inn Camden Lock in London.

Registration opens at 09:30, and the first session starts at 10:00.

Here are the delegate prices (which include lunch):

  • AMOSSHE named member - £170 (log in to access this rate)
  • Member colleague (non-member, but an employee of an AMOSSHE member organisation) - £185
  • Non-member (individuals, not-for-profit organisations and higher education providers not associated with AMOSSHE) - £215
  • Corporate non-member - £255

You don’t need to pay VAT for AMOSSHE events. Before booking, please read our booking terms and conditions.

Programme and speakers

Here are the confirmed sessions at the event:

Time Session
09:30 Registration and refreshments
10:00 Welcome and context
Nicola Barden (AMOSSHE Executive Member and Director of Student Services, University of Winchester) and Chris Shelley (AMOSSHE Executive Member and Director of Student and Academic Services, University of Greenwich) set out the context and aims for the day.
10:20 Suicide prevention strategies
Student suicide is, thankfully, a rare phenomenon, but when it occurs, its impact on friends, family and a university community can be devastating. Ross Renton (Pro Vice Chancellor Students, University of Worcester) shares the experience of the University of Worcester as one of a small number of universities nationally with an identified suicide prevention strategy. Ross shares the impact this activity has on the wider mental health policy and practice within the university, and outlines how Worcester are working with other universities and national charitable organisations to support similar developments at other universities.
10:45 What do we know about effective postvention?
What is our role in responding if the worst should happen? Karen Harvey (Partnerships Manager - Education, Samaritans) discusses postvention support for students and staff when a student commits suicide. Karen draws on learning from evidence, research and Samaritans’ experience in supporting communities in crisis.
11:10 Questions
11:20 Break
11:50 The role of the chaplaincy in student mental health crises
Delyth Liddell (Coordinating Chaplain and Methodist Minister, Cardiff University) explores the role of the chaplaincy in dealing with student mental health crises, and how support services and chaplaincy can work together at points of crisis. Delyth considers the question of working with faith in a secular environment, looking to understand the role of the chaplain within the higher education setting and specifically the support chaplains can offer both staff and students, and next of kin, in a crisis situation. You’ll be invited to share your experiences of chaplaincy and to share good practice in making the best use of the chaplains within higher education settings.
Identifying risk and what constitutes a crisis
Géraldine Dufour (Chair of BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) Universities and Colleges Division, and Head of Counselling Service, University of Cambridge) explores identifying risk and what constitutes a crisis, and how different services can work together to do that. Géraldine discusses coordinated approaches and responses, including the proactive role of university counselling and mental health services, how services connect with each other, the role of staff training, and sharing information (internally and externally) in serious student cases. You’ll be invited to share your experience and identify examples of good practice through discussion.
12:50 Lunch
13:40 Campus early intervention strategies
This session, led by Christopher Tucker (Head of Campus and Residential Support, University of Sussex) explores how student accommodation teams connect with internal and external resources in handling early and ongoing crises.
Supporting students at risk of suicide
Award winning university GP Dominique Thompson (Student Wellness Consultant, Buzz Consulting), who has a specialist interest in student mental health, explores how to build confidence for managing students who are, or talk about, feeling suicidal and/or reaching a crisis point. Dominique gives an overview of risk factors for suicide, and discusses high risk groups to consider, how to respond and manage or refer, liaison with the NHS, and strategic and innovative service planning.
14:40 Break
15:00 Student death: discharging the institution’s legal obligations and managing risks
Siân Jones-Davies (Senior Associate) and Charlotte Murray (Associate, Eversheds Sutherland) give an overview of higher education providers’ legal responsibilities when a student dies, and the exposures an institution may face if they step outside the legal framework. Siân and Charlotte use the progression of a fictitious case scenario in order to explore and test the different legal and practical risks arising.
While an institution's duty of care is broadly similar in each country of the UK, Siân and Charlotte are only qualified to advise on English and Welsh law. There are some differences in the law in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (particularly around equality and the court process), but they are not able to advise on those.
15:50 Good practice recommendations panel
Siân Jones-Davies, Géraldine Dufour, Charlotte Murray, Dominique Thompson and Christopher Tucker suggest their key points to take away, based on their experience. This is also your opportunity to ask questions of the panel.
16:30 Finish


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