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Work Life Balance, Mental Health and Wellbeing Event

Feedback from the day:

“Brave, honest, inspiring, unforgettable”

“It was an inspirational event. The guest speakers were fantastic and a couple were extremely brave to share their story with us"

“It was varied with many different speakers. Some very personal experiences were talked about freely. The theme of wellbeing came across well and there was a great diversity of people in the audience"

“I feel events like this are really important and should be happening all over campus. I can't wait to see more like this in the future"

About the event:

On Thursday 5 July 2018 the School of Life Sciences Athena SWAN committee hosted a Work Life Balance and Wellbeing event at the Medical Teaching Centre on Gibbet Hill campus. The event was free and open to all staff and students.

Here, Dr Antonia Sagona, BBSRC Future Leader Fellow and one of the organising committee comments on the event and Dr Leanne Williams, SLS Director of Student Wellbeing and an invited speaker, reflect on the day.

Dr Antonia Sagona
Organising Committee

"The meeting was split into two sessions: ‘Mental Health Issues in Academia’ and ‘Finding your own Work Life Balance’. In the morning, invited speakers analysed the issues of mental health arising in our everyday competitive style of life, with an emphasis on students who are facing stress during their studies and on academics who are required to multitask and achieve high constantly.

In the afternoon session, there were inspirational presentations coming from academics, research fellows and students, giving advice and their own perspective on how they manage to find their own work-life balance.

We have identified several potential topics for the future and hope to build on this year's success with a more interactive event with greater time for discussion and networking."

Dr Leanne Williams
SLS Director of Student Wellbeing (invited speaker)

"Everyone at some point has had a conversation about the difficulty of managing work/home/care responsibilities etc and how some days, weeks and even months it’s impossible to juggle everything. In the varied roles that I play, be it teacher, senior tutor, Director of Wellbeing, partner and friend I have conversations on a daily basis about the serious impact of not being able to manage and I see the toll it takes both physically and mentally. There is a normalised culture of working above and beyond what we should be doing, and it needs to change. And so ‘Thank you’ to those who organised this event, who in doing so may have already made a significant change to a few, inspired many and given this important issue real momentum. I really hope that this continues to be an annual event and that we get better at respecting each other’s right to maintain a healthy work life balance – we can be happier and more productive!".

wellbeing team

Sarah Ashworth, Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing, informed us her team has increased from one person to 16 people in the last 10 years to provide greater support across the University.

Rana Younis, a second year student in the School of Law, gave a very engaging presentation on mental health from a student's perspective. She has kindly posted the talk on her blog.