Mental Health Awareness Week at BU


Bournemouth University participated in World Mental Health Awareness week by hosting a number of guest lectures and events, hoping to inform people and raise awareness of mental health.

Events included talks about the representation of mental health in the media (hosted by Paul Scates and Dr Andrew Mayers – pictured) and a presentation of a series of films created to highlight the importance of mental health awareness.

Dr Ciarán Newell, associate director of nursing for eating disorders at NHS Dorset healthcare service, delivered a lecture at Bournemouth University titled ‘Eating Disorders Myths and Truths’. Newell’s lecture considered the myths, causes and treatment options for eating disorders and how to help someone overcome the illness.

Newell commented, “I hope people leave with a better understanding of what eating disorders are and not buy into myths”. He is referring to popular misconceptions many people have about eating disorders and emphasised how common they are in society.

The events were run in partnership with Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust, Dorset Mental Health Forum, Richmond Fellowship and Borough of Poole.

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New films will raise awareness of mental health issues in Bournemouth


A set of films created by Bournemouth University and Dorset Healthcare will help to reduce the stigma around talking about mental health issues, it is hoped.

Three films have been made, featuring BU staff, students and members of the local community talking about their experience of mental health problems and overcoming them.

They are available to watch on the Bournemouth University YouTube channel and are the latest in a series of awareness-raising activities organised by BU and Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust.

The films are part of the national Time to Change anti-stigma campaign, being run by leading charities to encourage people to talk about mental health issues and reduce discrimination.

Dr James Palfreman-Kay, Equality and Diversity Adviser at BU, said: “We thought about how we could bring something to life where we have got students, staff and members of the community talking about their own experiences.

“I’m hoping that it will start conversations around mental health and continue these discussions.”

BU and Dorset Healthcare have been working together to combat stigma around mental health for the past three years, holding regular talks and events.

Key achievements include a 150 per cent increase in attendance at mental health events, a poster campaign, an institutional pledge, and activities like quizzes and football tournaments to help raise awareness.

The videos were premiered at a Mental Health Awareness @ BU event, which took place on the university’s Talbot Campus and was attended by around 100 people.

Carer and Service User Co-ordinator at BU Angela Warren is featured in the videos, and spoke about her own experiences with depression and self-harm.

She said: “I want to help raise awareness of the issues and help people understand what it is really like.

“My hope is that we keep on talking about mental health and we don’t shy away from it.

“We need to constantly challenge that stigma and treat people with mental health problems with the same understanding and compassion that we do any other illness.”

Gail Taylor, Patient Experience Facilitator at Dorset Healthcare, said that the events raising awareness of mental health issues had been well-received.

“We have had a huge amount of positive feedback, both anecdotally and written.

“It has allowed us to reach a much younger audience and helped them to connect with the health community locally, which has been really important as well.

Watch the Time to Change videos