news
Published: 28 November 2014

Jim meets Ruby Wax for Mental Health Awareness Week

Physics Professor and Radio 4 Life Scientific presenter Jim Al Khalili interviewed comedian and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax as part of Surrey’s first Mental Health Awareness Week.

Having recently completed a Masters degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from the University of Oxford and published a number one best-selling book, Sane New World, Ruby is a well-known champion for mental health issues.

During the evening, the latest in the series of ‘Jim meets…’ lectures, Ruby discussed her struggles with depression, her curiosity to explore how the brain works and how techniques such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can help soothe the mind and reduce stress. She then answered questions from the audience which included Surrey students studying Mental Health Nursing.

[[{"fid":"168101","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default"},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"file media-element file-default"}}]]

For more photos and highlights from the event, check out our Jim meets Ruby Wax Storify.

Watch previous ‘Jim meets…’ interviews with Lord Robert WinstonRowan WilliamsProfessor Brian CoxSir David Attenborough  and Dara O’Briain.

Surrey signs Time to Change pledge

At the end of the event, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, and Munya Mudarikiri, Vice President Welfare of the Students’ Union, signed the Time to Change Organisational Pledge, signifying the University’s united commitment to tackling mental health stigma and discrimination.

The signing was coordinated by the University’s Centre for Wellbeing and Time to Change, a campaign led by mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

Mental Health Awareness Week, a joint initiative between the University and Students’ Union, aimed to help students and staff unwind, de-stress and raise awareness of mental health among the University community. Activities included art therapy sessions, free blood pressure checks, mindfulness taster sessions and workshops on managing stress, anxiety and depression.

Rotimi Akinsete, Director of Wellbeing at the University of Surrey, said: “We know stigma is a powerful force in preventing people with mental health difficulties from gaining access to appropriate support. Through events like this, we can make positive steps to raise awareness of issues and highlight the support that is available.”

Learn more about the work of Surrey’s Centre for Wellbeing and our undergraduate Mental Health Nursing degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing.