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Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 10 to 16 May 2021. At Queen Mary, we’re marking the week through a range of events, activities and more on this year’s theme of Nature.

What’s on

Throughout the week, Queen Mary teams will be running a series of online and in person events to support you in managing your mental health and improving your wellbeing. Explore the events programme below to learn a new skill, prioritise your wellbeing and meet new people.

Events for everyone

Online Indian cookery class (Tuesday 11 May, 15.00-16.00)

Looking to hone your cooking skills? Interested in experimenting with new recipes? Join us for a series of home cooking masterclasses hosted by our very own Jagjit Bharj (Jay), who specialises in Indian Punjabi cooking. You will learn the step by step process of making delicious and flavoursome dishes from scratch, specifically cauliflower and potato vegetable curry. No need for any knowledge or to bring anything with you – just your passion for cooking! For staff, enrol by searching 'cookery class' on the CPD booking system. For students, please email Jay Bharj for joining instructions.

A Taste of Mindfulness (Wednesday 12 May, 16.00 and Thursday 13 May, 12.30)

St Benet's Chaplaincy regularly offer opportunities to learn mindful meditation, in partnership with Bob Chase from Mindful in the City. Mindfulness is now recognised as one of the most useful skills we can develop to help us cope and even thrive when under stress.

For Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 Bob is offering two taster sessions for staff and students - the sessions are free and no experience is necessary. These one hour sessions combine theory and practice so that you leave with both knowledge and experience of mindfulness. Each session will include some practical mindfulness exercises and you will be provided with information on going further. Register online to receive an invitation to take part via Zoom.

Garden therapy workshop (Friday 14 May, 12.00-13.00)

Interested in gardening for wellbeing but don’t know where to start? Join the discussion on all things green with Dimi Sopisz, Queen Mary's Grounds and Gardens Supervisor. We will be sharing insights into the principles of horticulture to help cultivate a feeling of improved wellbeing and mental health. For staff, enrol by searching 'garden therapy' on the CPD booking system. For students, please contact Tom Stockton, Students’ Union Sustainability Coordinator, for more information.

Events for students

The Queen Mary Students’ Union will be running a range of wellbeing events for students as part of their Study Well campaign. Events will be added to the SU’s events listings throughout the week, so keep checking back for new ways to get involved. Highlights include:

Study Well: Seed Giveaways

Looking to start growing at home but not sure where to start? Come along to the SU’s seed giveaways at Charterhouse Square and Whitechapel, where you'll find everything you need to grow vegetables and herbs for free. We'll have basil, coriander, lettuce, rocket and micro herbs seeds available as well as pots and compost plus Queen Mary's Gardens Supervisor Dimi will be there to answer any questions.


Study Well: Tea & Talk (Wednesday 12 May, 14.00-15.00)

Do you need something to do during your study break or just fancy a quick chat over a cup of tea? Research has shown that tea can lower stress, and that a friendly social chat can help boost cognitive function, so what could be better than combining the two! Make yourself a cuppa and come chat to the SU’s Executive Officers about anything and everything. Book this online event on the SU website.

How Are You Really Feeling? Let’s Keep Talking About Mental Health (Thursday 13 May, 17.30-18.30)

Join an experienced and inspiring mental health community-led panel who will discuss and explore mental health from various perspectives, as well as the importance of ‘Nature’ for their overall wellbeing. Be inspired to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination, start conversations, and take action for change for today for a better future. Book online.

Events for staff

Mental health awareness workshop (Tuesday 11 May, 10am-12pm)

This workshop will raise awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing and help you recognise the signs of stress. You will learn how to support those wishing to signpost and direct colleagues to the appropriate support services available. Enrol by searching 'mental health' on the CPD booking system.

Managing stress workshop (Wednesday 12 May, 10am-12pm)

Investing in your wellbeing has proven to help reduce stress and create a more positive work-life balance. This interactive workshop will help raise awareness around spotting the signs of stress and managing workplace stressors for yourself and others. Enrol by searching 'managing stress' on the CPD booking system.

Our people

A woman in a white dress surrounded by plants

A waterfall with a background of trees

Alumni celebrate nature through photography

Queen Mary’s alumni community have channelled this year’s theme of Nature through a photography competition celebrating nature and its role in creating a feeling of wellbeing and promoting good mental health. Explore the winning entries published on the Queen Mary Alumni Instagram channel.

First image: Immaculata Nneoma Abba (History and Comparative Literature BA, 2019)
Second image: Amyaz Jadhakhan (Mechanical Engineering BEng, 2015) @a.m.y.a.z

Post-lockdown anxiety: in conversation with Dr Mark Freestone

To mark Mental Health Awareness week, Communications Manager Joel Winston speaks to Dr Mark Freestone, Reader in Mental Health at the Wolfson Institute's Centre for Psychiatry, about 'post-lockdown anxiety' and how people can manage their worries about socialising and returning to work. Listen on Soundcloud.

QMUL · In conversation with Dr Mark Freestone - Post-Lockdown Anxiety


Queen Mary has a number of resources available from the University and the Students’ Union to support our community with managing their mental health and wellbeing.

Study Well

The Students’ Union’s campaign Study Well is an initiative to support students: helping you take a break and improve your wellbeing during your studies here at Queen Mary. We know that studying can be a huge source of stress for students, whether that’s lectures, coursework, revision, exams, or any other form of academic activity. Study Well provides workshops, relaxation, activities, deals, giveaways, study tips, and more – discover Study Well resources on the SU website.

Staff wellbeing

For staff, Queen Mary’s Human Resources Department offer a range of wellbeing support resources, as well as signposting workplace support available for staff at the University. Visit the HR website to access advice, wellbeing tips and more.

Resources beyond Queen Mary

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