FOR UNIVERSITIES: HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Are you a university student interested in mental health, teaching, or psychiatry? Do you think you would enjoy teaching pupils in local schools about mental health? Then joining OpenMinds might be for you!
OpenMinds is a student-run initiative which started in 2009 at UCL Medical School. The programme trains university students (volunteers) in the basics of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (led by psychiatrists) across several topics.
The volunteers then receive teacher training and safeguarding training, before going into secondary schools to lead workshops on mental health with young people aged 11-16. Our workshops are completely free and have at present reached over 3500 school students, over 300 university students and upwards of 20 schools.
TARGET GROUPS of pupils
The aim of OpenMinds is to inform pupils about mental health issues, and aid in preventing their development. We decided to deliver our workshops predominantly to secondary school pupils.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, a large number of mental health disorders begin in adolescence (by the age of 16 years). As an initiative focusing on the prevention of mental health issues, we target pupils before this average age of onset. However, at the same time, the pupils have to be old enough to understand the importance of this issue and the content of our workshops (why mental health issues might develop, how they affect people, and how the pupils might help their friends who are experiencing mental health issues).
While the variety of workshop topics differs slightly between the different branches, generally, most will cover the following topics and more:
DEPRESSION & ANXIETY
HEALTHY COPING & RESILIENCE
SELF-HARM & SUICIDE
PSYCHOSIS & SCHIZOPHRENIA
OpenMinds have currently branches at six universities across the UK.
I am interested - what do i do?
If you are currently a student at one of the above universities, you can contact the branch at your university directly through our contact page.
If your university is not listed above and you would like to start a branch at your university, get in touch with the national committee. We have a lot of resources to help you set up an OpenMinds branch and support you throughout the year with running of the programme.
If you have any questions about us, do not hesitate to get in touch.