Reflect and respect
Date: 5th Apr 2016
More than 150 people attended an event organised by the Mental Health Nursing Department ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October. The theme of this year's celebration of mental health education, awareness and advocacy is 'Dignity in Mental Health.'
Delegates included students from our nursing, psychology, social work, criminology, sociology and policing courses along with tutors and other University staff. Representatives from local charities and qualified nurse practitioners also took part in the over-subscribed event which was organised with support from Jenny Wade, Vice President Education and Welfare for Bucks Students' Union.
David Rawcliffe, senior lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at Buckinghamshire New University, said: "It was great to see so many people come together, all concerned with different aspects of care, to consider the importance of dignity when caring for people with mental health conditions. The atmosphere was very positive and it was clear from the buzz at the end of the day how enthused and empowered the delegates were about the event's educational content."
Ann Gallagher, Professor of Ethics at the University of Surrey, opened the event and other speakers included Caroline Alexander, Chief Nurse for London and former Bucks student Hoda Ali who is an anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner. Hoda recently collected a prestigious CLIO advertising award in New York for the 28 Too Many anti-FGM campaign by Ogilvy & Mather London.
Julie Sheen, a winner of both Student Nursing Times and Nursing Standard awards in 2014, spoke of her experience as a service user, how this inspired her to become a nurse to improve care and how she works with the Mental Health Foundation as a campaigner.
Alan Baillie, senior lecturer in Mental Health Nursing, added: "The aim of the event was to celebrate World Mental Health Day and to highlight some of the career pathways open to current students. We are proud of the programme of study we offer at Bucks and to be one of the leading providers of student nurses in London. The event was a huge success and I'm delighted we created this opportunity for our students, alumni, colleagues and guests to share their experiences and reflect on best practice."
Graduate Will Barker, who is a student mentor, also helped to coordinate the event and, with former and current students, led workshop sessions which covered topical issues in mental health including combating stress; positive psychology; female genital mutilation and the impact of gang involvement on mental health.
Pictured from left: (back) Professor Ann Gallagher, Alan Baillie, Hoda Ali, Will Barker, Julie Sheen (front) Professor Lesley Baillie, Caroline Alexander, Chief Nurse for London.