A series of events and workshops highlighting wellbeing and mental health issues begins at Imperial today as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
Organised jointly by the Equality and Diversity Unit, the Learning and Development Centre and Occupational Health, the diverse range of events includes drop-in meditation sessions, wellbeing workshops, and a cake decorating competition based on the ‘Depressed Cake Shop’ concept – colourful cakes decorated in grey icing to represent depression and other mental illnesses.
This week will also see Imperial make a public commitment to ending the stigma that surrounds mental health issues, with the signing of the Time to Change Pledge on Thursday 15 May. The pledge, which has been signed by other major organisations such as Comic Relief, Channel 4 and the Premier League, requires organisations to create an action plan with the aim of reducing discrimination and ensuring that people with mental health problems are supported in the workplace.
This year's Mental Health Awareness Week – a UK-wide campaign run by the Mental Health Foundation - will focus on the theme of anxiety.
Leyla Okhai (pictured), Equality and Diversity Manager, said:
“Even though mental health problems, particularly anxiety disorders, are extremely common, many of us struggle to talk about our own mental health.
"This week is about raising awareness of mental health issues such as anxiety and helping to reduce the stigma around them. We want to encourage the College community to think about small changes they can make to improve their own mental wellbeing and ways that they can contribute to cultivating a supportive working environment for colleagues.”
The week will run from 12- 15 May, with events held at the South Kensington and Hammersmith campuses. Activities are free and open to all staff and students, though some require pre-registration.
Monday 12th May
- Building Personal Resilience - A workshop to help assess current levels of personal resilience and consider practical actions to improve. 12:00-14:00, SALC 9, South Kensington Campus
Tuesday 13th May,
- Building Personal Resilience - A workshop to help assess current levels of personal resilience and consider practical actions to improve.10:15-12:15, Seminar Room 1, Wolfson Education Centre, Hammersmith Campus
- Depressed Cake Shop Competition – A cake decorating competition and an opportunity to challenge the stigma and labels of depression and mental health. 12:00-14:00, Room 311, 3rd Floor, Sherfield Building, South Kensington Campus
- Empowering You at Work - A drop-in session run by external meditation and personal development centre ‘Innerspace’ to help develop inner resilience in the workplace. 14:00-15:00, SALC 9, South Kensington Campus
Wednesday 14th May
- Relax Your Mind at Your Desk - Meditation made easy - a drop in session on meditation skills run by external meditation and personal development centre ‘Innerspace’. 13:00-14:00, SALC 9, South Kensington Campus
Thursday 15th May
- Five Ways to Wellbeing - A workshop focusing on 5 ways to improve your wellbeing. 11:00-12:00, SALC 2, South Kensington Campus
- Sign the Time to Change Pledge - Show your support to end mental health discrimination as Professor Debra Humphris, Vice Provost (Education) signs the Time to Change Pledge on behalf of the College. 13:00-14:00, Garden Room, College Chaplaincy, 11 Prince's Gardens, South Kensington Campus
Friday 16th May 2014
- Mindfulness Talk and Practice - A drop-in session about mindfulness with simple exercises that will help you to pay attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing, and yoga. 13:00 - 14:00, SALC 9, South Kensington Campus
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