Mental Health Awareness Week

We are hosting a week of events in aid of Mental Health Awareness Week, focussed on providing information and support for mental health and wellbeing. All are welcome, so please find more information and a short booking form below

  • Mon 10 - Fri 14 May 21


  • Online

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

This is an open event, so whether you are a student, member of staff, thinking about applying to a course, or would just like to find out more, please feel free to join us - everyone is welcome.

We will be hosting events in aid of Mental Health Awareness Week virtually throughout the week beginning Monday 10 May; daily lunchtime workshops running from 12pm every day, live lectures at 4pm every day, and pre-recorded talks accessible any time throughout the week.

Please find the full table of events below. Zoom links for the On-Demand Talks will be published on Monday 10 May.

In the meantime, click the link below to book your place! 

Two students walking through rural campus area
Mental Health Awareness Week

Book your place now to take part in any of the workshops, webinars and panel events for Mental Health Awareness Week

Book now

Programme of events

Live Lectures

Join us daily from 4pm for a mental health webinar. Each webinar will include research from our academics, information from the Students' Union and Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Services, followed by a Q&A panel. 

 Date and Time Lecture Panellists Zoom Link
Monday 10 May, 4pm

Mental Health During a Pandemic

Join our academics in this talk about how mental health has changed during the pandemic. 

Dr Aaron Wyllie
Dr Carols Solar
Dr Caroline Barrat
Vinnosh Kumar


Watch on demand

Tuesday 11 May, 4pm

A Green and Pleasant Helping Hand: using nature and peer-support to help with PTSD

Join us to discuss the nature of PTSD and examine the impact of nature-based intervention on the symptoms of PTSD in military veterans.

Dr Nick Cooper
Nic Blower
Mark Wheeler
Vinnosh Kumar
Watch on demand
Wednesday 12 May, 4pm

The Benefits of Physical Activity on Mental Wellbeing

Dr Carly Wood will discuss physical activity and wellbeing during the first lockdown, and the potential of green exercise for improving mental health.

Dr Carly Wood
Vinnosh Kumar
Watch on demand
Thursday 13 May, 4pm

Gender, Sexuality and Mental Health

Join us in this talk about gender, sexuality and mental health, with contribution from both Dr Kate Mahoney and Dr Camille Cronin.

Dr Camille Cronin
Dr Kate Mahoney

Revd Dr Sara Batts-Neale
Phoenix Chilvers
Vinnosh Kumar
Watch on demand
Friday 14 May, 4pm

Racism, Discrimination and Mental Health: our work at Essex

Hear how our panellists are challenging racism, prejudice and discrimination at Essex, and how this is playing a part in improving our mental health on our campuses.

Dr Hannah Gibson
Dr Winifred Eboh
Rabbi Elazar Symon
Vinnosh Kumar
Watch on demand

Lunchtime Workshops

Boost your mental wellbeing by joining us for a different workshop every lunchtime this week.

Date and Time  Workshop Zoom Link
Monday 10 May, 12pm

Monday Meditation

Relax and unwind with mindful yoga and breathing with Yoga Instructor, Arlene, don't forget your yoga mat if you have one! 

Join here
Tuesday 11 May, 12pm

Vinyasa Yoga 

Join our Yoga Society in this upbeat session, get away from your desk and get moving.

Join here
Wednesday 12 May, 12pm

Workout Wednesday

Join James from our Essex Sport Team for a 45 minute body weight and HIIT circuit.

Join here
Thursday 13 May, 12pm

The Circle Workshop

Andrea Books, Head of MA Acting at East 15, will share a protocol she has been using for many years. Therapeutic - but emphatically not therapy - this practical workshop is a zoom meeting and not a webinar. Please be prepared to have your cameras on. Please be prompt as participants will not be able to join after 12.05pm.

Join here
Friday 14 May, 12pm

Feel-Good DJ Set

Join our resident DJ, Keisha, for a feel-good set to start your weekend!

Join here

On-demand Talks

These talks will be available for you to watch whenever suits you.

Talk Zoom Link

Student Support

Join Vinnosh Kumar, our VP Welfare, for a talk about student support at Essex.

Watch here

Mental Health and Faith

Join members of our Faith Centre as they discuss mental health and faith.

Watch here
Watch here

Welcome to the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service

A brief introduction to the range of support offered by the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service

Watch here

Other Events and Helpful Links

  • Wellbeing Ambassadors
    Join the Wellbeing Ambassadors from our Students' Union on Friday 14 May to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week. Find out more here.
  • Conversation Café
    We understand that the pandemic has created an unusual situation for international students (both in the UK and overseas). Would you like to become more confident in conversational English and meet other international students? To help with this, the Conversation Café is an informal and friendly Zoom space for you to exchange views and information, and simply get to know others a little. All international students from across the University are welcome. Go to the Career Hub to book!
  • Wellbeing Webinars
    The Accessibility & Wellbeing Advisers in Student Wellbeing & Inclusivity Service (SWIS) are offering the following sessions, including a series of five webinars being run by Wellbeing Advisers as part of Mental Health Awareness week; these webinars will help increase staff awareness of the signs and symptoms of mental ill health such as anxiety and depression, how to respond to students presenting with poor mental health, and the support available for students. Please book a place via HR Organiser. 
  • Louder Than Words Podcast
    Listen to our podcast here, topics include mental health and nature as therapy.
  • Dog based de-stress
    Need a listening ear and a chance to get away from it all? Come for a walk with an enthusiastic labradoodle and a calm Chaplain (available all week at a range of times at our Colchester Campus).
  • Introduction to Building Resilience and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
    In these workshops for students and staff, Simone Wakelin our University Cognitive Behaviour Therapist (CBT) will provide suggestions on how you can improve your capacity to withstand experiences that may cause you stress. Simone will help you develop your own CBT techniques to improve your wellbeing by better managing stress and anxious feelings you may have during this time. 

    Thursday 13 May, 9.30 - 11am (for students)
    Join on Zoom

    Friday 14 May, 9.30 - 11am (for staff)
    Join on Zoom
  • 'Take a Few Moments For Yourself' Blog
    This blogpost contains helpful tips from Dr Caroline Barratt who is featuring in our live lecture on Monday 10 May.
  • What is Mental Health? Video
    A short video brought to you by the School of Life Sciences.
  • The Dangers of the Web Video
    Watch this video from PAPYRUS which explains the dangers of the web and support you can access.
  • Supporting Your Mental Health While Working From Home
    Some helpful tips from Mental Health First Aid England.
  • Walk and Talk with Friends International
    Join Friends International every Saturday at 2pm! Meet at South Courts (taxi rank near the bus stop). Email to book a place and for further details.
  • Essex Sport
    Visit Essex Sport's Facebook and YouTube for live and pre-recorded classes and workouts!

TED Talks

We've put together a range of useful TED Talks relating to mental health which we hope you will find both inspiring and interesting.

Resources for Essex staff and students

  • Silvercloud - Programmes available on Silvercloud use clinically proven tools based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques. It can help you identify your key problems and offers activities to help you overcome them. Silvercloud programmes have high improvement rates for depression, anxiety and stress and can be accessed from your computer, tablet or mobile phone.
  • Valadium - At Essex, our counselling service is provided by Validium. Counsellors are accredited with professional bodies and maintain a recognised standard of practice. Find out more information for students and staff.
  • Essex has a range of resources to help promote wellbeing on the Wellbeing Directory on Moodle.
  • Use your University credentials to sign into LinkedIn Learning where there are courses on building resilience, working from home and supporting well-being during times of change and uncertainty.
  • Wellbeing Goodie Bags - staff and students that have had their 2 COVID-19 tests at least 1 day apart at our asymptomatic Testing Clinics will be offered a Wellbeing Goodie Bag! There are also food and drink treats for those who have attended their first test of the week, further details can be found on the Student Testing Page and Staff Testing Page.

Related events