19 July 2017

Supporting Medical Students with Mental Health Problems: The first national conference

On 12 May, Hull York Medical School's student support team hosted the first ever national conference to discuss how to support medical students with mental health problems. The conference, held in York and chaired by Professor Barry Wright, was attended by representatives from twenty one medical schools in the UK and there were presentations from twelve different schools, including Cambridge, Sheffield, Exeter, Manchester and Dundee, on topics as varied as fitness to practise, collating and analysing data, and case management.

Hull York Medical School discussed the importance of integrating systems relating to academic progression and professionalism, and two students from the school, Merope Griffin and Lois Thomas, presented opinions from a survey of medical students, which confirmed that students regard mental health as an important area.

The conference provided a valuable forum to discuss the range of difficulties that students may experience, including mental health problems, physical health problems, family and caring responsibilities or financial and accommodation difficulties, as well as the unique challenges facing students from overseas or widening participation backgrounds, and to share experience and best practice regarding the provision of relevant support. Attendees learned that robust support for medical students is 'everybody's business', and is in fact essential to creating the sensitive and understanding doctors of the future - something to which Hull York Medical School is particularly committed.

A further conference will be organised in spring/summer 2018. For further information, please contact Professor Barry Wright.