Student Mental Health Conference Timetable

Here is the provisional timetable for the upcoming Student Mental Health Conference on Monday December 3rd


9.15-10.00am      Registration & Coffee

10.00-10.10am    Welcome & Orientation – by Convenor, Helena Ahern, Head of Counselling, DCU

10.10-10.30am    Opening Address – by Mr Dan Neville

Mr Neville is a FG TD and Chair of the Irish Suicidology  Association

10.30-11.20am    My World Survey 2012 – Key Descriptive Findings

UCD Researcher, Dr Amanda Fitzgerald will present data on the mental health experiences of over 8,000 third level students aged 17-25 years in Ireland. It will provide data on levels of distress, coping strategies, life satisfaction, self-esteem, alcohol behaviour, and risk-taking behaviours among this cohort of young people. It will identify the top stressors and ways of coping among students and the places they are ‘most likely’ to use and ‘actually’ use as sources of support for their mental health. It will explore data on self-harm, suicide, and help seeking behaviour as well as and where young people access supports after a suicide attempt.

11.20-11.45am    Coffee Break

11.45-12.15am    Perspectives on Student Mental Health from Student Support Services

12.15-1.00pm      My World Survey 2012: Going Deeper

This presentation, delivered by Dr Barbara Dooley, UCD, will provide a more in-depth discussion of the risk and protective factors related to students’ mental health and well-being. For example, the presentation will look at the links between alcohol and substance misuse and mental health and the role of help-seeking in young people’s mental health. It will look at what may buffer mental health difficulties in students. It will present key questions to the audience for small group discussion about different aspects of students’ mental health.


1.00-2.00pm         Lunch

2.00-2.15pm         Orientation to Breakout Groups- By key themes

2.15-3.00pm         Break Out Groups 

Here participants will join a break-out group to discuss a key theme of interest. Themes will include alcohol and mental health, help-seeking, financial stress and emergency support among others. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on how their institution responds to these critical issues in student mental health, share examples of strategies and interventions used and brainstorm on any changes in practice required to provide a more helpful response.

3.00-3.30pm         Review of key discussion points

3.30-3.45pm         Coffee Break

3.45-4.30pm         Panel Discussion led by Dr Noel O’Connor, Director of Student Services, DIT

The Panel Discussion will consist of senior individuals from various college support services, academic disciplines and related community services who will be invited to reflect on and comment on particular themes from the day as well questions and comments from the audience.

Panel Members:

Dr Maria Hinfelaar, President of Limerick Institute of Technology and Chair of Institutes of Technology Ireland

Dr Lewis Purser, Director of Academic Affairs, Irish Universities Association

Ms Denise McCarthy – VP/Welfare Officer, Union of Students in Ireland

Dr Tony Bates, Director of Headstrong

Mr Brian Gormley, President of Confederation of Student Services Ireland

Mr John Broderick, Chairperson IAUCC


4.30-4.45pm         Conclusion and Closing Address