Riverside College welcomed expert guest speakers to the college for the prestigious World Health Innovation Summit Student Conference which aimed to raise awareness of mental health issues.
The World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS) provides a platform for speakers to exchange knowledge on the healthcare industry and for communities to share new and innovative ideas to help improve healthcare services. This was the first WHIS event to be held at the college and was in partnership with Sidewalk Talk; a community listening project which originated in the USA.
An audience of almost two hundred counselling students listened to inspirational talks from notable guest speakers including; Labour MP and President of the Labour Campaign for Mental Health Luciana Berger, CEO of the WHIS Gareth Presch, Traci Ruble founder and director of Sidewalk Talk, Sam Tyrer from Change Talks, Kathy Devlin from the Beacon Counselling Trust, Leigh Best from TEDs, Martyn Blacklock a WHIS ambassador, Nyki Benson from Halton Borough Council and artist Derek Eland.
Rosie Byrom, Counselling Lecturer at Riverside College said, “This was a fantastic event. The students really enjoyed the variety of speakers and how they all shared their own unique perspectives on the topic of mental health. The speakers were inspirational and shared innovative ideas on how we can support people in our communities with mental health issues.”
Feedback from the counselling students at Riverside College has been fantastic. One student commented, “I loved the honesty and vulnerability shown today by all of the guest speakers. I feel honoured to have been here today and I truthfully feel more inspired and hopeful at a time when I have been struggling.”
Another student added, “I liked the extensive and varied knowledge of the guest speakers and services, raising awareness through sharing information.”
Gareth Presch, CEO of the WHIS said “Passionate people determined to work together to support our local communities; that’s how I would summarise WHIS Riverside College. Our speakers gave an honest and heartfelt account of their work to help people. Their stories inspired us and I have to thank Riverside College, the speakers and the audience for all their support. We’re delighted we’ll be back next year in 2018.”