School of Health Sciences

Josephine NwaAmaka Bardi: Raising Awareness of Mental Health in Higher Education


Josephine NwaAmaka Bardi, a Registered Mental Health nurse and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) PhD Mental Health and Wellbeing student, has launched a campaign to Raise Awareness of Mental Health in Higher Education (RAMHHE). 

After receiving two successful grants from the prestigious ESRC, Josephine began the RAMHHE campaign as a labour of love, alongside continuing to work on her separate PhD project. As she says in her Institute of Mental Health (IMH) blog:

My passion to Raise Awareness of Mental Health in Higher Education began from my interaction with students who had experiences of mental ill-health. It broke my heart to watch, listen and hear them cry. They cried and I cried because there was very little that I could do at the time.

Soon after, I started the Raising Awareness of Mental Health in Higher Education campaign. Nothing was more important than to host an event on mental health in higher education. An event that will bring a diverse group of people together to dialogue on the issue of mental health in higher education.”

The conference, which is the UK’s first student-led conference on RAMHHE, takes place on 10 October 2016 and you can view the details here. Places are limited, though video highlights of the conference will be available after the event. There will be 30 free tickets available for staff.

The objective is to remove stigma around mental health in higher education and act as an inclusive day for staff, students, mental health experts and service providers to discuss perceptions of mental health and recovery. There will be speakers from all over the UK, a Mental Health and Wellbeing TV crew and a reporter from Times Higher Education.

In addition, Josephine will also host the UK’s first ESRC public engagement event on the 'Meaning and understanding of mental health' in Nottingham.

Read Josephine’s full IMH blog here.

Selfie post card

To promote her campaign, Josephine has also developed the RAMHHE selfie post card, so people can handwrite or print their support call and tweet to #RAMHHE16.

Download the selfie card here (PDF)

Poster competition

There is also a poster competition for health promotion posters on mental health, wellbeing and recovery. The ESRC and the SHS will cover the cost of printing the posters, so students do not need to print.

Students can submit posters for the competition to or to Julia Carson Little

Poster size should be A1 or A0. Ten posters will be chosen from all the submissions and presented on the day. Three posters will be chosen as finalists, which will then be used as part of mental health promotion within the University and schools.


  • First - £100 Amazon book vouchers
  • Second - £75.00 Amazon book vouchers
  • Third - £50.00 Amazon book vouchers

The competition deadline is 11pm on 5 October 2016.

Petition to government

Josephine has also started a call to action petition, requiring 10,000 signatures before government will respond to the call to debate mental ill-health in higher education.

Show your support and sign the petition here.

About Josephine

Josephine completed both her undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications at two universities in London, including:

  • BSc in Mental Health Nursing (First Class Honours)
  • MSc in Public Health (Distinction)
  • Postgraduate Certificate, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Distinction)

She is now a first year PhD student, being the recipient of the prestigious Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded PhD in Mental Health and Wellbeing.

In addition, Josephine is an Associate Staff and Visiting PhD student at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the winner of the Deans award for the Highest Achieving Postgraduate Student in Health Sciences, and most recently, she was awarded a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the United Kingdom (UK). 

View the video on why Josephine chose to Raise Awareness of Mental Health in Higher Education.

Further reading:

Blog - Josephine NwaAmaka Bardi – Giving higher education students a voice about their mental health

Join the Facebook group.

Josephine is pictured with Pro Vice Chancellor John Atherton.

Posted on Thursday 1st September 2016

School of Health Sciences

B236, Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
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