Mindfulness in the Community Conference 21 July 2017


SHU is hosting a Mindfulness in the Community Conference on 21st July organised by the Centre for Mindful Life Enhancement.

We are fortunate to have Stephen Batchelor, the internationally renown Buddhist teacher and scholar, who will speak about Secular Buddhism and its convergence with the secular mindfulness movement in a presentation entitled “Secular Dharma: From Truths to Tasks”.

Rather than basing itself on the classical Buddhist doctrine of the four noble truths, the approach of Secular Dharma is based on a radical re-reading of these truths as a set of interconnected tasks to be performed. This is summed up in the acronym ELSA: Embrace life, Let go of reactivity, See the stopping of reactivity, and Actualise a path. In providing a philosophical and ethical framework for the practice of mindfulness, ELSA moves us away from Buddhism as a set of religious beliefs and allows us to reconsider the dharma as the foundation for a secular culture of awakening.

Stephen Batchelor trained as a monk for ten years in traditional Buddhist communities and now presents a secular approach to Buddhist practice. The author of the bestselling Buddhism without Beliefs, his most recent book is Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World (Yale University Press). He is a founding member of the Bodhi College and lives near Bordeaux, France.

Mark Swales, Director of Facilities and Estates at Sheffield Hallam University will speak on Integrating Mindfulness into the Workplace. Mark introduced mindfulness based learning enhancement into the department in 2014 and 25 managers have since undertaken the programme. Mark is championing the adoption of mindful practices in other parts of the university working with colleagues in Human Resources as part of the adoption of the Healthy Universities Framework which Mark is leading across the institution.

We will also be joined by Nirmala Ragbir-Day coordinator of the Pastoral and Spiritual Care Department of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She will talk about the role of mindfulness and other spiritual tools in providing holistic healthcare for patients, families and staff.

There is a £40.00 fee, payable on booking. The price supports the work of the Centre for Mindful Life Enhancement and includes refreshments and an excellent lunch. Book here.

Manchester Incident – Support for Students

The IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) practitioner who is based at Student Health at SHU has offered to provide support to any students who have been affected by the terrorist incident in Manchester on Monday night – either if they were there or have friends or family who were there.

Students can contact Student Health at SHU on 0114 225 2134.  Sessions will be available next Thursday (1st June) and possibly at other times also.


Hatred will not win

Image result for love manchester after bombing

And so it was on the city of Manchester that that evil descended on Monday night. An act of violence, driven by sick and twisted ideology, transformed a concert being enjoyed by thousands – many of them children and young people – into a place of carnage, death and suffering.

There can be no justification, no excuse, no legitimisation for this barbaric act. It was a wicked crime perpetrated by those who diminish their own humanity and insult the religion in whose name they claim to act.

Such people as Monday night’s suicide bombers are not true believers. Instead, they are murderers acting not in the name of God – despite their rhetoric – but at the bidding of men who hide in the shadows and infect the minds of others through their web of hatred and lies.

Through such atrocities as happened at the Manchester Arena, they seek to challenge all that is decent in our society by sowing seeds of hatred and vengeance. But they will not succeed.

This is evident the response of the people of Manchester, just as it has been in the response from the people of Paris, London, Madrid, Istanbul, and so many other places where the lives of ordinary people have been devastated by acts of terror.

People opened their homes to provide solace and comfort for strangers; they ferried people away from the scene; they fed and cared for those left stranded; and they queued up to donate blood for transfusion to the wounded. The people of Manchester, while shocked by what has happened, will continue to go about their daily business unbowed.

The terrorists’ desire to disrupt everyday life and make people live in fear will not succeed and carries within the seeds of its own destruction. Every act of terror strengthens the resolve of good people not to give in but to demonstrate all that is good about humanity – and that is why hatred will not win.

Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are for those who lost their lives: for all who were injured and are traumatised and whose lives are forever changed; for the emergency services who faced the horror at the scene with their usual courage and fortitude; and for ourselves, that we do not allow this evil to fill our hearts with hate.

5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Exams

Exam StressOne of the Student Wellbeing practitioners, Delroy Hall, has recorded this short, snappy video with 5 top tips to help prepare for exams.

See the video here and pass the word to anyone who could do with a helping hand to beat those exam nerves!

Film Screening in Aid of the Russian LGBT Network

IDAHOBITAs part of the IDAHOBiT ( International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) , SHU is screening the film Paragraph 175 in aid of the Russian LGBT Network and their 24 hour emergency centre for LGBTI+ people in Chechnya.

The film chronicles the lives of several gay men and one lesbian who were persecuted by the Nazis. The gay men were arrested by the Nazis for the crime of homosexuality under Paragraph 175, the sodomy provision of the German penal code, dating back to 1871.

Prior to the main feature a short film Xenophobic Site will also be screened.

The film by Tina Ulevik-Piirto was shot on location of two concentration camps in Germany and portrays a visually and aurally experimental re-imagining of this dark part of history.

This event has been made possible by Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union who have provided the use of their cinema The Void totally free of charge.

This is a Pay As You Feel event with a suggested donation of £7.50/£4 concessions with all proceeds going to the Russian LGBT Network.

Wednesday, May 17 at 7 pm – 9:30 pm
The Void, Sheffield Hallam University

IDAHOBiT: Paragraph 175 https://www.facebook.com/events/134535433754721

Death Cafe Wednesday 10 May

Dying Matters logoCome and visit the Death Cafe on Wednesday 10th May, 11am – 2pm, Heart of the Campus at Collegiate Campus.

As part of the national Dying Matters Awareness week (8th-14th May 2017), the Sheffield Hallam Palliative and End of Life Care Interest Group are planning a range of events to enable students and staff to talk more openly about death, dying and bereavement. The theme this year is ‘What can you do?

Come along and find out what you can do to help someone cope with dying, death and bereavement. Tea, coffee and cakes provided. Register now.


Students’ Union Mental Health Society News

MHSoc logoGreat news! The Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union Mental Health Society is now affiliated with the charity Student Minds. This means they will be getting support from a nationally recognised student mental health charity, which will help contribute to the Society’s cause in many positive ways.

It also means that they will be changing their name, logo, social media and email address to fit in with this new affiliation.

Their new name is Sheffield Hallam SU Student Minds and over the coming weeks you’ll see this change implemented across their social media. Their new email address is sheffieldhallamsu@studentminds.org.uk

Feel free to pop in to join them on Friday 31st March in Coffee Union to support Healthy Hallam Week from 2pm onwards.

Student MindsIf you wish to find out more about Student Minds please visit http://www.studentminds.org.uk/


World Autism Awareness Week Minecraft Marathon

Message from Brain in Hand

Brain in Hand logoTo celebrate the conclusion of World Autism Awareness Week we are running our fourth Minecraft marathon on Monday 3rd April, from 10:00am until 10:00pm – and we’d like your help.

Our goal is to play Minecraft for 12 hours and create a world featuring Brain in Hand offices, but bigger, brighter, with stained glass windows (as we know this is tricky) and anything that comes to mind!  Brain in Hand team members Tom, Will, Jono and Francis will be building all day, but we’d love it if you could join in at any time for as little or as long as you can – 5 minutes or 5 hours!

Minecraft for AutismTo join in email minecraft@braininhand.co.uk to receive logon details.  It’s free to do and will be an autism-friendly space with players and moderators present.

The aim is to have lots of fun, but also raise funds for two autism charities –  Autism East Midlands, a brilliant charity founded by a group of parents wanting to make a difference; and Positively Autistic who run an online radio station to educate and create positive autism awareness.

Please sponsor the event on our just giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Brain-in-Hand

P.S. To keep up to date with the action, we’ll be live-streaming the game and sharing a webcam of our marathon on www.twitch.tv/braininhand

What Health Services Do You Use When You Are Feeling Unwell?

Your Health picThe NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, the local NHS organisation in Sheffield responsible for planning and buying healthcare for the people for Sheffield, is currently looking at the services that people use when they are feeling unwell.

They want to hear from specific groups of people in Sheffield about the services they use when they are feeling unwell. They are asking students in Sheffield to complete a survey to help them make decisions about the services that are available to people in Sheffield.

The survey can be completed online at the link below and your completion will help shape future health services in Sheffield.

The survey closes on 31 March 2017 and your help is much appreciated!


University Mental Health Day – how it went

University Mental Health Day on the 2nd March provided a great opportunity for staff and students to work together to promote important messages relating to mental health.  The theme of being physically active to support mental health, which was agreed on by Student Minds and UMHAN for this year, was followed by the planning group, with activities and information focussed on this.

There were opportunities to get involved in a number of physical activities including table tennis and guided mindful walks around Collegiate campus.  Student and staff were encouraged to find out about the benefits of a more active lifestyle and to get tips on how to incorporate and sustain physical activity in our daily lives.  A number of students made pledges to be more physically active and spent time talking with staff and student volunteers about mental health.  The stand at City saw 75 visitors and there was good engagement at Collegiate campus, with between 30 and 40 people attending the mindful walks.

On the day there was a PC pop up, as a result of which 655 staff clicked through to the HR Wellbeing site and 89 students clicked through to the Student Wellbeing blog.  An email was also sent round to the majority of students leading to students accessing the Student Minds website and Hallam Union’s ‘Mind your Head’ information.

An HR initiative resulted in a number of short films with staff members talking about their own mental health difficulties and how they had overcome these.   The Vice Chancellor endorsed the day in his blog and reiterated SHU’s commitment to improving mental health for all, via the 5 Ways to Wellbeing and the Healthy Hallam Challenge.  There will be opportunities to get involved in later this month. IMG_1458 (2)  IMG_3921 IMG_1474 (2)