Middlesex University Dubai’s Wellness Office is proud to offer mdxMindset Talks: monthly wellness talks starting in October 2022. Please join us in conversation with students, staff, industry professionals, and the wider community about mental health and wellness topics affecting our society.

Why mdxMindset Talks?

Conversations around mental health are long overdue. We are in need of adapting our home, work, and educational spaces to better suit the needs of the people within them. In order to do this, we must talk about health issues affecting individuals, whether those be of physiological or psychological origins.

There are several benefits to encouraging conversations about wellness and health, which help normalise mental health as part of health in general and lead to inclusivity so that people feel safe opening up, seeking help, and speaking out.

Talking about well-being also creates a community of enquiry around challenges in societal wellness, and this inspires a problem-solving approach to issues affecting different communities. Help-seeking behaviour – as well as help-offering behaviour – is promoted when people communicate openly.

Through this, we are able to better learn about others, as well as be more aware of signs and symptoms of mental health problems. Relationships can be strengthened by honest expressions of thoughts and emotions, and this could help people find the support they require.

Schedule

Trigger warnings: Suicide, self-harm, war and conflict, eating disorders, talk of dysphoria, body image and appearance, unhealthy relationships

The mdxMindset Talks schedule for the 2022-2023 academic year is as follows:

October – Social Anxiety

While in-person meet ups and an end to physical distancing was on many people’s wish lists for the past two years, the return to crowds and busy spaces can be uncomfortable and difficult. Join the conversation about both post-pandemic social anxiety and general social anxiety, share your experiences, ask questions, and participate in the movement to open up about our differences.

November – Men’s Mental Health

“Man up!” We’ve all heard the stereotypes: men aren’t emotional, men don’t cry, mental health doesn’t fit into male gender roles. Join us in conversation with men who share their stories, diagnoses, and mental health struggles and successes in an attempt to lift the stigma and lessen the disadvantage that men have in the mental health arena.

December – Eating Disorders

With many people celebrating and travelling around the New Year, we notice a lot of focus on body image. New Year’s Resolutions often include weight loss, and guilt about eating too much during celebrations is expressed frequently. This is reflected in wider society through the images that are published, the expectations in the age of social media, and a lack of representation of differences. Let’s talk about disordered eating, body image, and supporting healthy food and lifestyle choices.

January – Self-harm and Suicide

Many people suffer in silence and worry that reaching out will cause shame and further isolation. We want everyone to feel comfortable seeking help. In this conversation, we will discuss suicide awareness, including signs and support. We hope you will join us to spread the word: it’s ok to talk about it.

February – Unhealthy Relationships

All relationships are more complex than they seem on the surface – whether it is family, friends, colleagues, or romantic partners. Join this talk on how certain types of relationships might be unhealthy for us and how to deal with these.

March – Conflict and Mental Health

Conflict medicine is concerned with the health requirements of people living in situations of war and armed conflict. In our final mdxMindset Talk of the year, we look at how political and social turmoil affect the mental health of both the people living under these conditions as well as those living elsewhere with concern for family and friends in conflict zones.

Timings and Locations

The exact date, time, venue, and speakers for each mdxMindset Talk will be announced month by month. The series will be held in person on campus, as well as live-streamed online for those who prefer to join anonymously or from other locations.

Seeking Help

We know talking about our mental health can be sensitive and difficult. If you’re having problems opening up, some tips include:

·       journaling until you are more comfortable speaking out

·       practising talking out loud about your thoughts and emotions on your own before reaching out to someone

·       writing a letter/email to someone instead of verbal communication

·       speaking to a counsellor, such as Nora Tahir, the University’s Mental Health Counsellor, who offers free support and guidance for all students

Whatever your method, we invite and welcome you to the mdxMindset Talks series, and hope it will be of benefit to you and our community.