Month of the Mind 2019 — programme of events

April 12th, 2019

During May we will be celebrating our fourth annual Month of the Mind events programme which focuses on raising awareness around mental health and wellbeing.

1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year in the UK (NHS England, 2016) but there is still stigma attached to mental illness which means many people avoid getting help.

Universities play an increasingly important role in supporting our students to maintain good mental health, particularly as 27-29% of students report clinical mental health issues each year (YouGov, 2016). They also play an important role in supporting employees in a changing and evolving environment. In 2017/18, 44% of all working days lost due to ill health across all sectors were due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety (Health and Safety Executive, 2018).

Schedule of events

This year, our Month of the Mind programme will include:

Improving sleep quality: A mindfulness-based approach to insomnia
12:30pm-1:30pm, Tuesday 30 April, Tuesday 7 May and Tuesday 14 May: A01 Highfield House

Recent statistics indicate as many as 1 in 3 people experience insomnia.

This series of 3 lunchtime workshops for University of Nottingham staff will explore evidence-based factors which influence sleep and explore potential lifestyle changes which can improve it.

  • Workshop 1: Fight or flight – noticing the impact of physiology and lifestyle factors on sleep
  • Workshop 2: Letting go – can mindfulness really help insomnia?
  • Workshop 3: Awareness of the body – explore methods for releasing tension in the body and discover research-based tips to improve sleep quality.

Book your place at

Wellness in the workplace: Befriending performance anxiety
2pm-3pm, Monday 13 May: B1, Law & Social Sciences Building

Performance anxiety can manifest in many different areas of our lives. Whether you are giving a presentation, preparing for a professional review or facing a difficult conversation, there are proven methods that can help you feel more grounded and supported.

This hour-long interactive session for University of Nottingham staff led by professional pianist Dr Xenia Pestova, Director of Performance, Department of Music, will guide you through simple breathing techniques, focus exercises and gentle stretches incorporating yoga and Qi Gong influences to help you understand and befriend performance anxiety.

Booking is essential as places are limited. Once fully booked a waiting list will be held. Please email:

Healthy body, healthy mind — free exercise sessions
Monday 13 May-Friday 17 May 2019: various locations

Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness but it can also improve your mental wellbeing.

As part of Month of the Mind, the Department of Sport are offering free places for staff for a range of exercise sessions. Events will take place across our UK campuses. Find out more at

Minding the Mind: Supporting your mental health at work
12pm-2pm, Monday 20 May: A08, Institute of Mental Health

We all have mental health. We are all likely to be affected, directly or indirectly, by mental health problems at some point in our lives.  Research informs us that mental health problems are a global issue affecting 676 million people worldwide (WHO, 2015). Recent research (Hughes et al., 2018) identifies HE staff and students as a particularly vulnerable group.

The University is committed to tackling this important issue by raising awareness of mental health, supporting those who are experiencing mental health problems and training some of our staff as Mental Health First Aiders, to support both peers and students.

This panel discussion and Q&A will explore what the University can do to better support staff mental health.

Book your place at

Minding the mind and body
5:30pm-6:30pm, Monday 20 May: B2, Hemsley, University Park.

An hour-long workshop for University of Nottingham staff and students, led by Dr Val Watson, Head of the University Counselling Service, as part of a rolling programme of gentle exercises designed to encourage mindfulness practice.

Find out more at

Dance for health and wellbeing 
9am-10am, Thursday 23 May: Portland Building, University Park

There’s plenty of advice around about sitting and inactivity being bad for your health. In recent years a growth in dance and wellbeing scholarship has resulted in new ways of thinking that place the body, movement and dance as significant for improved health and wellbeing.

This workshop is a facilitated hour of movement and dance based on ideas from a movement meditation practice called ‘5 Rhythms’ which was developed by Gabrielle Roth. The music follows a pattern of flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness and your dancing/movement can be as gentle or energetic as you feel comfortable with.

Find out more:

Don’t miss out

We hope you enjoy Month of the Mind 2019 and find it interesting, informative and stimulating.

For updates throughout the month, please subscribe to the People and Culture blog and follow us on Twitter.

For further details of events taking place this month, please visit the University’s Event listings.

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April 25th, 2019 at 9:35 am



Unfortunately due to circumstances I can’t attend any of the 3 dates for the mindfulness and insomnia workshop. Is there any resources I could look at to understand more about this?

Many thanks

April 29th, 2019 at 11:53 am


Hi Christian. The People and Culture Team may be able to provide further details. You can email the team at Best wishes – Rebecca

April 29th, 2019 at 3:59 pm

Simon Langley-Evans

Staff at Sutton Bonington would like to be able to attend sessions like this. Are there any plans to roll out in the outlying campuses please?
Best wishes

May 1st, 2019 at 1:19 pm


Hi Please can you tell me if there are plans to hold any more Mental Health First Aid courses.

May 2nd, 2019 at 9:45 am


Hi Amanda. You can view availability of Mental Health First Aid courses on the Central Short Course website, in the ‘wellbeing’ category:

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