On Monday, the 17th of February, the University’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Awareness Week kicks-off. There will be a diverse programme of events running for a whole week, as part of a huge campaign spearheaded by the Students’ Guild and Welfare Sabb Chris Rootkin, to fight mental health stigma and discrimination.
As part of this the Students’ Guild have supported a number of student societies – including Body Soc, Mind Your Head, Voice and Campus Cinema – to put on talks, host events and staff stalls to raise awareness about mental health problems, and how to tackle them without shame.
You may notice Exeposé getting involved, too, as our editorial team and contributors explore the current issues and challenges that are relevant to student mental health concerns. We want our readers to take part as well, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Anything anyone can do to raise awareness and enable an open, honest conversation about a subject which is often difficult to talk about, or labelled as taboo, is worthwhile.
The slogan of the University’s week is ‘Everyone has mental health. How’s yours?’ – which emphasises how universal this topic is. Mental health isn’t an alien term that applies only to other people, it’s something all of us need to monitor, especially at university when exams, finances, uncertain career prospects and being away from home are just some of the stresses we regularly face.
Here’s a summary of some of the fun, informative events you could attend as part of Mental Health and Wellbeing Awareness Week…
Monday 17th February:
Exercise is good for the brain!
Body Soc are hosting events all day, mostly in the Lemmy – there’s Zumba 2-3, Intervals 5-6 and Ab Attack 6-6.30. But before all their events there’s a free Yoga session from 12-1 at The Boot, Birks Grange. If that wasn’t enough there’s also a Beginners Running Group starting from UNITE’s building in Northfield at 5.30 and ending at 6.30, led by a qualified instructor.
Share Your Story Night
6-8, Forum Exploration Lab 1 – come and listen to others talking about their own experiences with mental health. You can share yours, too, if you wish but if not there will be lovely members of Mind Your Head around to talk more quietly afterwards.
Tuesday 18th February:
Mental Health Awareness and Wellbeing Fair
From 11-2 in the Forum Street there will be a plethora of societies with stalls and activities. Everyone from Extunes to Voice will be there. There will also be delightful calming things like massage available, as well as student support services like the Chaplaincy.
‘A Little Bit OCD’
Ben Callon gives an interactive talk, hosted by Mind Your Head Society, about how altering our perceptions of how others see us can minimise anxiety when speaking in public. It’s on from 6-7 in Queen’s Building, LT1.
Wednesday 19th February:
Body Soc lead sessions in the Lemmy again, 2-3 and 5-6. The first is Zumba and the second is Yoga.
Thursday 20th February:
National UK mental health charity, Mind
Mind explain where their money goes and how it really helps people. 6-7 in Queen’s LT1
Chi Running (what on earth?)
Chi Running is apparently great for your mental wellbeing. A combination of Tai Chi and running gives you a mental and physical workout. This first session of its kind runs from 6-8 at the Sports Park but requires booking. Email email@example.com to book a place.
Friday 21st February:
Red Sock Run
An early start and the fresh morning air might be good for you mind…honestly. Get to the Great Hall Piazza for 7.30 (am, that’s right, in the morning) to join others for some social exercise…otherwise known as a 5k run. Go on, challenge yourself! And there are discounted drinks in Costa afterwards…
In the City Centre from 11-4 RAG will be raising money for Mind. So if you were inspired by the talk on Thursday, why not go along to make a difference?
Really? More healthy exercise for the mind and body?
1-2, Laughter Yoga at Birks Grange – as funny as it sounds, there’s no awkwardness once everyone gets giggling…honest. Start the weekend with a chortle and banish the blues!
4-4.50, BodyBlast with Body Soc – it sounds intensive and it is, intended to help you gain strength with weights and a high octane workout apparently. But it’s a free session! So go on, earn your Friday night fish and chips!
6-7, Georgie Lewis presents “Broken Mirror: Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” – Listen to Georgie speak out about abuse and mental health, and how she copes with DID and PTSD.
Sunday 23rd February:
Silver Linings Playbook
Campus Cinema host a screening of the Oscar nominated drama from 2012 which tackles mental health. Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. It starts at both 6.30 and 9pm and is at a discounted cost of £2 per person!
They were only the highlights of the week – there are other events, including some on Saturday and Sunday (the 22nd and 23rd). You can see the full list of events here.
Liam Trim, Online Editorbookmark me