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Mental health in student recruitment: Are you doing enough?


Hosted by Accenture, Central London

Last year nearly five times as many students reported a mental health condition to their university than 10 years ago*.

This rise in poor mental health amongst students not only has a huge impact on universities, who have duty of care to look after their students, but also on employers. These students are bright, hard- working and ambitious, in order for them to succeed in the workplace, employers must be able to provide the support they require to flourish in the tough environments that they will invariably face.

During the first half of the Cafe, experts will enlighten you on the subject of mental health and define what we actually mean when we talk about ‘mental health’. There will also be a particular focus on the causes of mental health issues among young people and the challenges that transitioning from university to the workplace bring.

Students and recent graduates will also share their experiences of mental ill health as well as their thoughts and concerns about entering employment, being open about their condition with potential employers and requesting the support they require.

In the second half we will turn our attention to what employers are doing to reduce the stigma that exists around mental health, and how they can encourage openness amongst their employees enabling them to provide the required levels of support.

Individuals will again share their own experience, including the support they have accessed through their employer and the importance of networks and mental health allies.

In attending this Café you will learn more about the subject of mental ill health and in doing so remove the stigma, fear and silence that exists around this subject. It will build your confidence to have relevant conversations with your applicants and employees, enabling them to have the support they require to excel in their role

*New Institute for Public Policy Research analysis


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Adam Dempsey

Adam is currently a trainee solicitor at Baker McKenzie. Adam has struggled with mental health issues over the past eight years, through school, university and into employment, and has a range of experience in the mental health sphere, having volunteered for a hotline charity, being involved in various mental health campaigns, and sitting on Baker McKenzie's Wellbeing Committee.

Working in the City presents its own challenges, but Adam is keen to improve access to mental health services and reduce stigma around mental health issues in the workplace. Adam believes in the importance of being a voice for those who feel they are held back by their mental ill health, and works to ensure a level playing-field for all young professionals to excel.

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Kirsten Doherty

Kirsten is Accenture’s UK Inclusion and Diversity Lead where she is accountable for all the work done across gender, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, family and social mobility. She is also the founder of Accenture’s Mental Health Allies programme which aims to remove the stigma around mental health by changing hearts and minds through shared experiences, storytelling, highlighting intersections and education until anyone outside or inside of the workplace can feel supported and not judged.

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James Martin

James is the European Sales Support and Bid Manager at Enterprise Holdings, working for the company for more than 23 years and holding multiple positions during this time. Having lived with depression and anxiety for more than 25 years, James received a formal diagnosis more than 10 years ago, having been forced to take an extended leave of absence.

James is passionate about raising awareness of mental health, helping to break the stigma that still exists (especially in the workplace) and ensuring that mental health needs is treated on an equal footing with other diversity strands.

In order to promote a more open environment for all employees, he talks openly about his own experiences and he is a Champion for Time to Change, the growing social movement that exists to transform how we all think and act about mental health problems. James is driving Enterprise Holdings’s efforts in promoting a more inclusive environment for those with mental health difficulties, leading them to sign the Time to Change Employer’s Pledge and bring about positive change to reduce stigma and discrimination in the workplace. He is also a Community Champion for Movember, campaigning to give men a voice in the mental health arena and to prevent the silence leading to suicide.

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Will More

Will recently graduated from the University of Exeter, having completed a year's placement at Enterprise Holdings' European Headquarters. During his time there he worked on their Social Mobility Index and Stonewall submissions and, on behalf of the Disability Committee, contributed to the development of a Disability Passport to aid employees and managers alike. 

Following an unexpected deterioration which caused him to be absent from work, Will was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. On returning to work he published a blog which was read by thousands, highlighting the difficulties of mental illness and also dispelling myths about this often mis-understood disease. Following the blog, he has been approached by several companies to advise them on their mental health processes and is excited to continue this in the future.


Amanda Walderman

After studying psychology and social policy, Amanda worked for the probation service before moving on to work in addiction. She has over 15 years’ experience working in healthcare, principally in clinical psychology and addiction therapy, and later in management to help teams adapt to restructuring and workplace change. A lot of her work has focussed on helping people understand their habits and behaviours in their life and work.

Amanda holds CMI Level 4 in Leadership and Management and an ILM Supervisory Management Development Qualification. Alongside her work for Mindapples, she also runs a successful swing dance training business in Brighton and continues to focus on wellbeing and supporting people to manage their health and reach their potential.


Scott Williams

Scott has worked at Student Minds for nearly a year, in his role as Head of Development he is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders as well as generating and implementing new and innovative opportunities to further grow the impact of Student Minds work across the HE Landscape.

Prior to this Scott has worked for over 12 years within the Health and Social Care sector across the UK managing a number community facing organisations supporting people to access services and support.

MyPlus Recruiters’ Club Platinum and Gold members who signed up or renewed in 2019 are entitled to 2 complimentary places at Disability Cafés. Additional complimentary places may be available depending on room capacity, with priority being given to Platinum members. 2018 Gold members are entitled to 1 place and 2018 Platinum members are entitled to 2 complimentary places.

MyPlus Recruiters’ Club Silver members may purchase places at a reduced price of £175 +VAT

Non-members may purchase places at a price of £350 + VAT.
Contact to purchase places.

Read more about the MyPlus Recruiters’ Club