LSST student invited to Home Office to speak on Mental Health
By Kunal Chan Mehta | Article Date: 15 October 2021
LSST Aston Business student, James Crystal, has spoken on the importance of mental health management at a recent event organised by the Home Office.
James was invited to speak to senior civil service delegates from across the Home Office, Ministry of Defence, the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and Ofsted to mark World Mental Health Day.
At the vanguard of mental health policymaking, James, who has also presented at the Bank of England and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, addressed delegates about the myriad of mental health hurdles brought on by COVID-19.
Neil Brooker, who works within Strategy Transformation & Performance at the Home Office, told delegates: ‘James Crystal’s delivery comes straight from the heart; his sincerity is indisputable. His story is an unvarnished account of his life, and it’s not an easy listen, but making the effort reaps enormous rewards - it’s incredibly powerful and deeply compelling. His message of redemption and rehabilitation, and finding the strength to overcome incredible hurdles, is inspiring and one I believe needs to be shared across all audiences. It has been a tremendous privilege to work with James and I would thoroughly recommend him as a speaker’.
James, also Managing Director and Co-Founder for Eeverse, added: ‘It was an honour to speak with the delegates about how COVID has posed a threat to both body and mind for everyone on the planet. Throughout this menacing pandemic, we need to incorporate both the body and mind as a central tenet to our human health. I call upon everyone to acknowledge that our mental health and physical health work best when they work together.’
James went on to explain: ‘The prolonged mental health crisis is now accompanied by the despair brought on by COVID. Further, having been inside prison myself, I can testify to the impact of quarantine and isolation and the ensuing challenges it brings. When we self-quarantine, we protect our physical health – but this increases our social seclusion, which can intensify our loneliness and subsequently incite negative emotions. Sadly, this limits access to vital social support systems that can safeguard against mental health issues.’
Mr Mohammed Zaidi, LSST’s Deputy CEO, added: ‘James is to be commended for his presentation. He has highlighted to the Home Office that, for too many, the pandemic has forced a choice between mental and physical health.’
‘I am delighted that James has shared his remarkable story with the Home Office,’ commented Dr Wendy Wigley, LSST’s Head of Student Lifecycle. ‘His insight into Mental Health during the week of World Mental Health Day is welcomed and demonstrates our ongoing passion and support for Mental Health awareness.’
Turning pain into purpose and positivity
James shares his remarkable story with LSST’s Student Engagement and Mental Health team about how he become the person he is today to reach his goals and dreams. James, publicly passionate about sharing his story, reveals how he turned his pain into purpose and positivity in order to inspire other students that may be experiencing comparable difficulties.
James will be hosting additional talks at LSST soon and these will be posted on:
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Click here for useful mental health links from the Office for Students (OfS).
Related LSST articles:
LSST Students: 2021 will be challenging but there is still hope!: www.lsst.ac/news/hope2021/
COVID-19 lockdown: consolidating a student mindfulness model: www.lsst.ac/news/pact/
How Students Can Think Positive During COVID–19: www.lsst.ac/blogs/positive_thinking/
How Students Can Confront COVID-19 Stress Whilst Studying From Home: www.lsst.ac/news/covid_19_stress_guide/
Mental Health in Higher Education and the Sector Challenges Ahead: www.lsst.ac/blogs/mental_health_in_he/
Hadzhieva, V and Garcia, S (2021) Top 10 Tips for Mental Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic – A Student’s Guide. LSST Blog. 11th Feb. Available at https://www.lsst.ac/blogs/mental health tips [accessed 15 October 2021].