Mental Health Day helps students share experiences

More than 50 higher education institutions are taking part in University Mental Health Day today.

February 18, 2015

As part of the event, a campaign based around students who have disclosed their mental health problems has been launched on Twitter.

Students using #IChoseToDisclose can share information and their experiences of telling universities about mental health problems.

University Mental Health Day is organised by the charity Student Minds and the University Mental Health Advisers Network (UMHAN). Universities taking part will promote the mental health of people involved in all areas and aspects of higher education.

A recent report by the Equality Challenge Unit, Understanding adjustments: supporting staff and students who are experiencing mental health difficulties, found that around half of all students and staff who have mental health problems have not disclosed them to their university.

The day will see universities putting on workshops, fundraisers, film screenings and other events in collaboration with students’ unions, nightlines, local Student Minds groups and mental health services.

Through the use of the hashtag, organisers hope that students can see how others have worked through disclosing their problems and can build confidence from their experiences.

As part of the day, UMHAN will answer questions on The Student Room website, and Student Minds will be hosting a question and answer session on Twitter. Some student groups and individuals will also be taking part in a challenge to raise £100 in 100 hours to support student mental health services.

Lydia Pell, chair of UMHAN, said: “University Mental Health Day is an opportunity for the university community to think about student well-being and to become more aware of what services are available to students. By having open conversations about mental health, we believe that the stigma of having a mental health difficulty can be eradicated.”

Rosanna Hardwick, Student Minds charity manager, said: “University Mental Health Day is a great opportunity to start a conversation about mental health, whether that’s opening up to a friend, offering support or sharing day-to-day strategies for looking after your mental health.”

holly.else@tesglobal.com

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