The University of Nottingham (UoN) has committed to raising mental health awareness in line with World Mental Health Day on Saturday 10th September.
Over the week leading up to World Mental Health Day, Equal Opportunities and Welfare Officer Sarah Pickup, Nightline, Mind, Student Minds and the LGBT and Disabled Students Network have collaborated to organise a range of events, with the aim of encouraging open communication about mental health.
Among the plans is the #littlethings campaign, which involves students sharing what they do to destress or to look after one another on social media.
“We want students to feel like they are supported and can access support no matter what they are experiencing”
Equal Opportunities and Welfare Officer Sarah Pickup told Impact: “For me, awareness of mental health and the impact it can have on our students needs to become ingrained into the University culture”.
She added: “We want students to feel like they are supported and can access support no matter what they are experiencing – everyone has mental health and therefore it’s really important that we start positive conversations about it around the campuses, and start educating people more in order to compliment that awareness”.
“The University’s work helps reduce the stigma of mental health”
Second year English student Kayleigh Fletcher said: “The University’s work helps reduce the stigma of mental health and this as a consequence can help people to deal with the issues they face, by feeling able to talk about it”.
Larissa Rowan, another second year English student, told Impact: “Mental health has often been viewed as a somewhat taboo subject. If you tell people that you are going to the doctor for reasons relating to mental health, people either stigmatise you (although they may not say it), or they feel that anything they say will be awkward”.
“Mental health week helps people to become more accepting of the fact that mental illness is just like any other physical illness”
She continued: “Mental health week therefore isn’t just beneficial to those who have been a victim of some kind of mental illness, it also helps people to become more accepting of the fact that mental illness is just like any other physical illness”.
The next event under the campaign is with Nightline and is set to take place on Friday 10th October, followed by a “crafternoon” with Student Minds and the LGBT and Disabled Students Network on Wednesday 14th October from 3pm until 6pm.
Image: University of Nottingham’s Students’ Union