"Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for Stephen Mallen for the award of Honorary Doctor of Health Sciences.
Steve Mallen is a local Cambridge resident and a graduate of the University of Cambridge. Following a successful corporate career spanning over 30 years in the international chartered surveying and fund management industries, Steve experienced a personal tragedy that transformed his life when he lost his 18-year-old son, Edward, to suicide in 2015.
Since that tragic event, Steve has channelled all his energies and his astute business mind into a new life as a passionate campaigner for better mental health care and a greater understanding of suicide. His work is bringing hope to others and is significantly changing our society’s attitudes to mental health and strategies around suicide prevention.
His uncompromising commitment to improving mental health provision led to Steve being described by the former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who now chairs the parliamentary Select Committee for Health & Social Care, as 'the country's most formidable campaigner on suicide prevention'.
As a co-Founder of the Zero Suicide Alliance and a member of the National Suicide Prevention Group within the Department of Health & Social Care, Steve works with all parts of Government and the NHS regarding mental health and suicide prevention. The projects he is currently involved with focus on primary care, higher education and the criminal justice system. The Zero Suicide Alliance suicide prevention training has now been completed by nearly 1.8 million people.
Steve regularly testifies on behalf of those in need, working closely with NHS England, the Department of Education and the Health Select Committee. He is also a Governor of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. He works closely with several mental health and suicide prevention charities, calling us all to account in how we can help each other and how our society supports those in greatest need.
Describing himself as someone who’s prepared to make a nuisance of himself, Steve is also a member of The National Children’s Bureau and Chairman of The MindEd Trust, a charity specifically founded in memory of his son and focused on mental health in children and young people.
It's essentially down to Steve's unwavering, full-time campaigning that the government has pledged a commitment to the creation of suicide bereavement support services in every part of the country by 2024 as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.
Steve has worked closely with us at ARU since January 2020, when he spoke at a Suicide Awareness launch event. He is passionate about raising standards of mental health care in all settings, including universities, and promoting effective strategies for suicide prevention. It’s impossible to hear him speak without sharing some of his determination to help - as a society and as individuals.
Steve presents us with a human story of the most powerful type. He has spoken in many interviews of his commitment to banging on doors until they are opened and conversations can begin. He is trailblazing through red tape and complex NHS processes to improve the lives of children and young people.
At the heart of Steve’s commitment lies a fierce determination to prevent his experience of losing a dearly loved one from happening to others. He is an inspirational role model for all our staff and students.
We are delighted to officially welcome Steve to our ARU community.
Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Stephen Mallen for the award of Doctor of Health Sciences, honoris causa."