In 2017, nearly one in five students enrolled in higher education in the UK came from abroad. Research has shown that international students struggle more but get less help. This conference is designed to address this problem, by creating awareness and suggesting solutions to the mental health challenges faced by students generally, and international students specifically.
International students face unique challenges, with linguistic and cultural barriers leading many to suffer from social isolation, depression, and anxiety. The stigma of mental health problems not only pushes students to conceal these feelings from their classmates and teachers, but also provides a perverse incentive for universities to downplay the very serious difficulties faced by international students when promoting their schools to potential students and their parents.
This inaugural conference, to be held annually hereafter, aims to raise awareness of these issues, and mental health more generally, by inviting 100 students from universities across the UK to participate in two discussion-based panels with leading experts in the field. The first discussion panel, led by Dr. Gregory Shields of Maudsley Learning will be focused on the resources that are available both through the NHS, and also through student services at the students’ respective universities. The second discussion panel, led by Emma Lawrance of It Gets Brighter, will turn to student-led strategies of resilience.
Programme for the day:
12:00 Registration Opens
12:00 - 13:00 Coffee and Networking
13:00 - 14:00 Keynote Speech and Opening Remarks from Beifang and UNFPA
14:00 - 14:15 Break
14:15 - 15:45 First panel – Dr. Gregory Shields (Maudsley Learning, King’s College)
15:45 - 16:00 Break
16:00 - 17:30 Second panel – Dr. Emma Lawrance (It Gets Brighter, Mental Health Innovations, Imperial College)
17:30 - 18:30 Closing Remarks and Drinks Reception
Additional support will be provided by the Student Services department of Regent’s University London and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (UK).
Throughout the conference, students will be given ample opportunities to network and discuss their professional and academic goals, with an eye to encouraging students to become informed and engaged advocates for mental well-being and community health.
The conference will conclude with a networking session for attendees.