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Professor Glazzard named as Lifesaver

Leeds Beckett University’s Professor Jonathan Glazzard has been named as one of the Nation’s Lifesavers by Universities UK for his transformational work improving mental health in schools.

Professor Jonathan Glazzard

The Nation’s Lifesavers are the top 100 individuals or groups based in universities across the country whose work is saving lives and making a life-changing difference to our health and wellbeing.

They have been celebrated as part of Universities UK’s MadeAtUni campaign, which highlights the impact of universities on families, communities and wider society. 

Professor Glazzard’s previous work has identified particular challenges experienced by both experienced and trainee teachers caused by factors including scrutiny and workload.

His research on mental health in schools has led to the development of a national award for schools which includes training and development to improve self-confidence, resilience and emotional intelligence for both pupils and staff – more than 500 schools have signed up for the award so far.

Leeds Beckett University’s Centre of LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Education, led by Prof Glazzard, also has a significant mental health element: research has found that people identifying as LGBTQ+ are far more likely to experience mental health issues - these findings influence the delivery of the university’s teacher training.

Professor Glazzard said: “We must pay attention to children’s holistic, not just academic, needs. We can prepare them better for living in a socially-inclusive society, where they will encounter difference and diversity, and develop relationships with a wide range of people.

“Our work at Leeds Beckett is helping to ensure that mental health difficulties do not stand in the way of success at school and beyond.”

Research, carried out by Britain Thinks, shows the public are proud of UK universities but have little understanding of the benefits they bring, with most not being aware that UK academics are behind many of the discoveries that save lives and keep up healthy.

Professor Dame Janet Beer, President of Universities UK, said: “When people think of lifesavers they understandably tend to focus on the dedication and skill of our doctors, nurses, carers, and paramedics – many of whom are trained at universities. Every day, up and down the country, universities are also working on innovations to transform and save lives. Research taking place in universities is finding solutions to so many of the health and wellbeing issues we care about and the causes that matter.

“By proudly working in partnership with charities, the NHS and healthcare organisations, universities are responsible for some of our biggest health breakthroughs and in revolutionising the delivery of care.

“This campaign is a chance to bring to life the wonderful and often unexpected work going on every day in our universities and to celebrate some of the people working to make a life-changing difference to us all.”

More information on Jonathan Glazzard’s inclusion in the campaign can be found here: https://madeatuni.org.uk/leeds-beckett-university/improving-mental-health-schools

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