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Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

Life@LBS speaks to Josefina Haque, MBA 2018 about LBS’s Mental Health Awareness week.

“Earlier this year, I sat down with a small group of MBA students and we spent an afternoon brainstorming how we might be able to introduce more discussion around mental health to LBS and wondering whether these topics were relevant and interesting to the LBS community. Rather than organising disconnected events, we wanted to plan one coherent initiative that would reach the whole LBS community, and inspire students and staff alike, so we decided to focus our events around the annual UK Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.

We wanted to plan a week of events that would encourage people to think about mental health from different perspectives and also provide some information and tools to help students and staff understand and navigate their own mental health and support others through mental health struggles. Following a short survey of our peers, we discovered that 63% of students had experienced a personal struggle with mental health, and 65% had supported a loved one through mental health difficulties. These statistics made the need for more discussion even clearer, and we were encouraged to see that 97% of respondents agreed that they would like to see more discussion around mental health at LBS.

Fast-forward a couple of months and we are thrilled to be launching the initiative this week and have been overwhelmed by the response and support that we have received from students, staff, the School and external organisations.

This week, people have been enjoying a range of activities: from daily yoga and meditation to information sessions with NHS professionals and a documentary film screening about men’s mental health. We are kicking off the week with a phenomenal panel of entrepreneurs and top industry executives with personal experiences to share, and ending the week with the much-anticipated LBS Olympics in Regent’s Park, bringing people together to enjoy some old-fashioned ‘sports day’ favourites. All of that plus eight puppies for our ‘puppy therapy’ on Wednesday – I’m sure it’s going to be a really fun week as well as an interesting one!

The initiative is mostly focused on our internal community, however, in the spirit of supporting each other and the people around us, we also wanted to have an impact beyond the walls of LBS and our people. To that end, we are proud to be supporting the charity Mind throughout the week and will be hosting collections at many of our events. We are very grateful to all our sponsors and partners for sharing our vision and enabling us to offer all of these events for free to everyone at LBS so that any money raised can go straight to where it is needed the most.”

Check out the timetable of events