Health Matters: Student experience and wellbeing in the pandemic

Three of Oxford Health governors share their unique experience on how COVID-19 has impacted on students’ placements, resilience and mental health

Health Matters: Student experience and wellbeing in the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has placed enormous new challenges on students and teachers in medical and nursing schools. How can we make placements and exams safe? Indeed, can we have placements and exams? And how can we support students’ mental health and wellbeing?

Three Oxford Health’s governors will be discussing this in a digital Health Matters Student experience and wellbeing in the pandemic on Thursday, 15 October, at 4pm. On the panel are:

  • Dr Mary Malone, Director, Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery, Oxford Brookes University and appointed Trust governor.
  • Hannah-Louise Toomey, trainee occupational therapist (MSc) at Oxford Brookes University and trust governor for Oxfordshire.
  • Dr Hasanen Al-Taiar, consultant forensic psychiatrist and trust governor for Specialised Services.

The event will be chaired by Kerry Rogers, Director of Corporate Affairs.

When the severity of the pandemic started dawning in March, both students and teachers were quite dismayed about students’ opportunities for completing their placements. Dr Malone and Hannah-Louise Toomey will share their experiences – which turned out on the whole positive.

“Our students felt they were treated as individuals and colleagues on their placements, making an important contribution in the coronavirus crisis,” says Dr Malone.

Hannah-Louise Toomey says she and her fellow students decided to turn the dismal situation – “are we ever going to qualify?!” – into training in resilience:

“We are living through an event that will be referred to for years to come,” she says. “We are on the frontline of permanent change to life as we know it and we are fortunate to be witnessing it all. One day we will be modelling resilience to future occupational therapy students and what better way to teach but through personal experience?”

Now that university terms have started again, there is increasing concern about students’ mental health and wellbeing. Dr Al-Taiar will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, how to be aware of warning signs and what you can do to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

You will will be able to ask questions during the event by the online Q&A function. We also welcome questions in advance by email to

How to join

The event will be run as a meeting on Microsoft Teams. Join by clicking this meeting link at 4pm on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

The easiest way to join is on your computer.  You can join via your web browser and don’t need to download anything.

If you are joining on a mobile or tablet, you may need to download the Teams appYou do not need to create an account as this meeting is set up for the public. Just press ‘Join meeting’ once the app is downloaded.

If you would like to receive a reminder of the link closer to the event date, please sign up here.

Become a member of Oxford Health

Join Oxford Health to get invitations to this and similar events right into your inbox. We have a series of interesting talks coming up this autumn.

Membership is free and doesn’t carry any obligations, but you can get involved in volunteering, research, members only events and more if you like. You will also be able to vote in our Council of Governors election and stand as a candidate yourself.

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Published: 30 September 2020