Teaching & Learning


Supporting students' mental health in an increasingly pressured and competitive environment

15 March 2019

National student healthcare expert, Dr Dominique Thompson, will give a keynote speech at the UCL Education Conference on Monday 1 April.


In her keynote speech at the UCL Education conference, Dr Dominique Thompson will explore the increased demand for mental health support for students. 

After 17 years as a specialist Student Health GP, Dominique set up her own consulting company commited to improving student health and wellbeing services nationally. She is the former Director of the University of Bristol Students' Health service, has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and in the Guardian, and has been involved in national NHS projects, such as "Minding our Future."

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Dominique talks to us ahead of the UCL Education Conference:

What is one thing you've learned from being a medical doctor working at the University of Bristol? 

Over almost 20 years working as a university GP I noticed a huge shift in the demand for mental health support, and an increase in student ‘distress’, and I wanted to find out more about why that might be. 

What is studying at university like in 2019? 

I believe that university life in 2019 is vastly more competitive and pressured than it ever has been. 

What do you hope colleagues will take away from your keynote at the UCL Education Conference? 

I hope my talk will share some of the context, answering the questions around why we are seeing more 'stressed out' and mentally unwell students, whilst also giving everyone some ideas about how they can help the young people they mix with or teach, or support. 

We all have an opportunity to change the way things are going, but we need to do something! 

I have learned that students are incredibly resilient, compassionate with each other, and fun to work with, but I think we, and society, can do better when supporting and educating them in a rapidly changing world.

UCL Education Conference to focus on inclusive education 

The UCL Education Conference 2019, in collaboration with Students' Union UCL, will focus on inclusive teaching learning and learning in higher education.

Themes will include: 

  • BME (Black Minority Ethnic) attainment
  • Academic support
  • Pastoral support
  • learning innovations
  • Student support and wellbeing 

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What else to look forward to

  • Find out about and celebrate the great work being done across UCL
  • Meet colleagues and students from many different disciplines
  • Learn about and share best practice
  • Find out about exciting projects and research at UCL
  • Learn about tools and techniques to increase student engagement and help support students during their journey at university.
  • Hear UCL students describe their experience of, and ideas about, inclusivity and student engagement
  • Find out how students are directly involved in developing education at UCL.

What's great about the UCL Education Conference?

Hear what 11 UCL staff and students thought about the UCL Education Conference 2018.

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