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Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 falls between 10th-16th May. MPLS Division is offering a range of activities, events and workshops (majority online, of course!) for staff and students throughout this week, spanning from tai chi sessions and art workshops to panels and focus groups discussing mental health awareness and strategies we can use.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 banner

Details on what will be on offer throughout the week can be seen below. Clicking on each title will take you through to the registration form for each event, with further details. Remember to hold the time of any event you are attending in your diary! If you are interested in an event but unable to make the time, register your interest through this form

We will also update this page with useful resources, including videos, recordings and links, in advance of the week.

Monday 10 May

9:00-9:45

Activity: Yoga over Zoom

Join Alessandro, the Co Founder of YogaVenue, the largest Yoga Studio in Oxfordshire for a 45 minute online vinyasa flow yoga class. This class is suitable for all levels - some experience of yoga is helpful but not necessary, basic modifications will be provided for beginners. If you have any injuries, are pregnant or 6 weeks or less post pregnancy this class is unfortunately not suitable for you. For more information about YogaVenue and the classes available online and in person please go to www.yogavenue.co.uk. 

10:45-11:30

  

Talk: Supporting staff wellbeing at the University of Oxford

Les Wright, Interim Director of Occupational Health and Safety will give a short talk about the current support for staff and the Wellbeing Programme Board work plan.

11:00-11:30

                            

Talk: Self-care and resilience/supporting ourselves and others

Hannah Ravenswood will discuss why self-care and resilience can be more challenging for some than others, particularly those with mental ill health, disabilities, or those who are LGBT+. We will consider how to foster a supportive environment and share practical tools to help look after you.

12:00-13:00                                                                                                                                                          

Panel webinar: Dealing with academic rejection

In academia, we are constantly facing rejection whether that is for papers, grants, job positions or even voluntary positions. Although rejection is normal, that does not necessarily make it less painful. In this panel, we will discuss academic rejections, our experiences of rejection and help provide strategies to help you deal with rejection. Prof. David Gavaghan (Director of the Doctoral Training Centre and University Advocate for Research Staff Development), Prof. Alison Etheridge (Head of Department, Statistics), Dr Hannah Lingard (Head of Research Facilitation, Physics) and Dr Lucy Taylor (Junior Research Fellow, Zoology). 

13:00-14:00

Activity: Tai Chi over Zoom

This Tai Chi Class will be run by Tom Goldblyth, who has been teaching Tai Chi since 2003 and doing lots of work in mental health as the Tai Chi teacher for Khiron House for over 7 years. The session will be tailored for beginners and will be held on Zoom. We are running an additional session on Friday, in the University Parks.

13:00-14:30

                                                                                                        

Workshop: Becoming a more mindful and productive scientist

A workshop for researchers, Ana Pineda explores how we can incorporate mindfulness in our work. Adding mindful techniques into our daily research life can help scientists to be more productive, more creative, and happier. In this workshop, we’ll explore how to do that. We’ll also get deeper into the building blocks of a more “human” productivity system, and I’ll share some tips to get you started. This session will be a 1-hour presentation, followed by an optional 30-minute question time.

15:00-16:00

           

Workshop: Mental ill-health in the workplace

Mental ill-health is very common, but little discussed. This popular workshop explores the experience of working at the University while living with a mental health condition.

16:00-17:00

Activity: Expressing Emotion through Art

Through a series of activities that require no more than pen and paper, interdisciplinary artist Dr Immy Smith will help us explore how to use art as a pathway to express personal feelings & experiences.

17:00-18:00

                       

Activity: Cooking Masterclass - a cookie cook-along!

A family-friendly, online tutorial on how to bake chocolate chunk cookies.  The recipe will be shared in advance! 

 

TUESDAY 11 MAY

11:00-11:30

                                                   

Activity: Knitting Club

Do you knit or crochet or are you curious about getting started? Join us for a relaxed coffee break: bring your needles, hooks, yarn, and projects or just join for a chat on where to find resources to get started!

11:00-11:30

                        

Talk: Your personal wellbeing DASH board

Jarlath Brine will give a talk about self-care (using the Mental Health for England stress container as an introduction) before moving into a discussion on having a personal wellbeing DASH board in place for helpful habits (Diet, Activities, Sleep, and Hydration).

12:00-13:00

                                                                                                                                       

Workshop: Mindfulness for Mental Health - NOW OPEN TO ALL

Mindfulness has been theoretically and empirically associated with psychological well-being. It is a NICE recommended treatment for individuals experiencing recurrent depression, severe pain and chronic illness, and is also recognised as being a skilful approach to maximising general wellbeing and flourishing. This experiential workshop will provide a practical introduction to Mindfulness and how it can be used to support individual health and well-being. This workshop has a capacity of 50; if you register, please make sure you definitely attend. 

12:00-13:00

                

Talk: Bird Walk with Prof. Andy Gosler

Join Andy Gosler, Professor of Ethno-ornithology (he’ll explain what that is!) who will be helping us to recognise birds and their songs. Andy is kindly sharing material that he has prepared for teaching biology undergraduates to identify birds by song. Take a bit of time to go through the file and familiarise yourself with the bird songs - put your new knowledge to the test on your daily walks. Join Andy to share your observations and ask him questions.

13:00-14:00

Talk: Overcoming Stress - 7 Key Tools

Dr Jennifer Wild, Associate Professor & NIHR Oxford Health BRC Senior Fellow, Department of Experimental Psychology discusses how certain people overcome enormous stress and anxiety, while others struggle. She will present seven key tools that can help us manage stress and anxiety in our own lives and examine the science of why they work.

15:00-16:00   

                                                                                                                                                                                               

Talk: Career challenges and opportunities in a time of pandemic                        

Dr Rebecca Ehata (Careers Service) and Dr Rachel Bray (Research Staff Hub Lead). For some researchers, the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on recruitment and career progression has resulted in growing anxiety about career prospects in an already-uncertain employment landscape. Whilst acknowledging that the wider landscape is beyond our control, this session focuses on aspects of career readiness that each of us can influence and take responsibility for, and sets out key steps to prepare for applications with confidence and clarity.

 

WEDNESDAY 12 MAY

10:45-11:15

                   

Talk: An overview of support provided by the Work+Family Space

Join our session to understand how the University’s Work+Family Space can work for you! The Work+Family Space platform is available to all University Staff and provides a wealth of wellbeing resources and information for everyone (not just those with caring responsibilities)!

12:00-13:00

                                                                              

Workshop: Five Ways to Wellbeing - NOW OPEN TO ALL

An interactive one-hour workshop run by Oxfordshire Mind, covering: What is wellbeing? Why does it matter? What are the 5 Ways to Wellbeing? How can this powerhouse of tools help us to be proactive in decreasing stress and build good mental health at home and at work? This workshop has a capacity of 30; if you register, please make sure you definitely attend. 

13:00-14:00

               

Panel: Maintaining your own wellbeing while campaigning for change

This panel will discuss the impact that campaigning for change can have on your own wellbeing. Sharing some of their own experiences, the panel will provide useful tips and resources for how they protect their own wellbeing while actively campaigning for change. The panel comprises Dr Clara Barker, Dr Jenny Gladstone, Daisy Hung, Shazeaa Ishmael and Tim Knowlson. 

13:00-14:00                                                                                                                                                                        

Talk: Let's Talk About The Menopause - this talk is now full

The ‘change’, ‘the time of life’ – call it what you will, it is a fact that all women go through the perimenopause and a menopause. Yet, it is often still a subject of embarrassment and myth. The aim of the session is: Learn what peri menopause and the menopause are and what we can expect; Explore what we can do to help ourselves during and leading up to the menopause; Understand the emotional and physical challenges of this stage in a women’s life; Look at how peri and the menopause can affect work and relationships. This talk has a capacity limit of 25.

15:00-16:00

   

Talk: Oxford Herbaria

Stephen Harris, the Druce Curator of the Oxford Herbaria, will be giving us a behind the scenes tour of the botanical treasures in the collection, their importance in the history of science and their relevance in modern research. If you ever pressed flowers between book pages, this is the talk for you.

 

 THURSDAY 13 MAY

11:00-11:45

                          

Talk: Perfectionism and Imposter Syndrome

Alan Percy, Head of Oxford University's Counselling Service, will give a 30 minute talk followed by a Q&A session.

12:00-12:45                                                                                                                                                            

Activity: Yoga over Zoom

Join Alessandro, the Co Founder of YogaVenue, the largest Yoga Studio in Oxfordshire for a 45 minute online vinyasa flow yoga class. This class is suitable for all levels - some experience of yoga is helpful but not necessary, basic modifications will be provided for beginners. If you have any injuries, are pregnant or 6 weeks or less post pregnancy this class is unfortunately not suitable for you. For more information about YogaVenue and the classes available online and in person please go to www.yogavenue.co.uk. 

13:00-14:00

Talk: A year in pandemic: Changes in parent, child, and adolescent mental health

Dr Simona Skripkauskaite, Department of Psychiatry will be presenting the findings of the CO-SPACE project that has been looking at how families are coping during the coronavirus pandemic.

13:00-14:00

            

Activity: Expressing Emotion through Art           

Through a series of activities that require no more than pen and paper, interdisciplinary artist Dr Immy Smith will help us explore how to use art as a pathway to express personal feelings & experiences.               

17:00-18:15

     

Activity: Cooking Masterclass - veggie chilli and nachos

A family-friendly, online tutorial on how to make vegetarian chilli and nachos. The recipe will be shared in advance!

 

FRIDAY 14 MAY

10:45-11:45

An overview of Togetherall

All students and staff at the University of Oxford can access Togetherall’s 24 hour, safe online mental health support.  Pete Mandeville from Student Welfare and Support Services will give an overview of the service with opportunity for Q&A afterwards.

 

12:00-13:00

                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Panel: Discussing mental health in academia – breaking down the barriers

A panel discussion with a number of academics across the MPLS division to help normalise talking about mental health in academia. Primarily aimed at academics, research staff, and students, the panel will discuss past experiences of mental ill health throughout their academic journey and what they did to deal with this. They will also highlight the responsibility of supervisors and managers in protecting the mental health of their students and what strategies can be adopted – both for the supervisor and student – to help this. The panel comprises Prof. Sonia Antoranz Contera, Prof. Matt Jarvis, Tim Knowlson, Anjali Shah and Dr. Lucy Taylor.

13:00-14:00                                                                      

Talk: Impact of the pandemic on disabled staff

Sarah Stephenson-Hunter, Staff Disability Advisor, will speak about the impact of the pandemic on disabled staff and what support is available for them through the University. There will be plenty of opportunity for Q&A.

13:00-14:00

     

Activity: Tai Chi (in person)

The Tai Chi Class will be run by Tom Goldblyth who has been teaching Tai Chi since 2003 and doing lots of work in mental health as the Tai Chi teacher for Khiron House for over 7 years. The session will be tailored for beginners. This session will be held in the University Parks and has a capacity limit of 30, in line with government guidelines.

17:00-18:00

       

Virtual Concert: Piano Recital

More details to follow. Robin Stephenson, a lecturer at the University of Sheffield, offers a classical piano concert to end the week.

18:00 onwards

Activity: Virtual Board Games 

For the last event of the week, kick off your weekend with some fun online board games with friendly people! No experience necessary, just turn up and play.

Privacy policy

If you sign up to any of our events, your details will be processed for registration purposes and stored in accordance with GDPR (please refer to the privacy policy).  Anonymised analytical data will be kept as a record of the profile of attendees to the event, which may inform divisional action planning and future events. 

 

organising committee:

  • Maria D. Christodoulou (MPLS ED&I Fellow, Department of Statistics)
  • Jo Knights (MPLS ED&I Coordinator)
  • Beverley Lane (MPLS ED&I Steering Group, Department of Statistics)
  • Lucy Taylor (MPLS ED&I Fellow, Department of Zoology)

If you would like to get in touch or would like to join the MPLS ED&I mailing list, please contact us at: diversity@mpls.ox.ac.uk

 

Useful resources

Please let us know if you would like anything adding to this list, by emailing us at: diversity@mpls.ox.ac.uk

Guidance for working from home

 Your health and wellbeing

Useful links for your family

Additional links and resources