It was World Mental Health Day, in case you were wondering. As I drearily walked to a two-hour lecture in the morning, nothing seemed to appear any different in the forum, or throughout campus for that matter. In fact it wasn’t until late at night that I found out about the occasion during my adventures into the depths of my Facebook news feed. So why didn’t anything happen on campus? Well something could have happened, but surely the number of people who noticed were minimal. You’d think that a significant worldwide issue like mental health deserves more attention, and it really does, but why isn’t more people caring about it?
one in four people have struggled with mental health before,
“This is nothing worth worrying about” “She’s probably exaggerating” “He should stop pretending like he’s actually sad” “It’s not a big deal”; this IS a big deal and it’s important that we all learn about it. Mental health issues range from common symptoms to diagnosable conditions, and is probably more prevalent than you think. About one in four people have struggled with mental health before, yet awareness for the issue is rather limited. In truth, the university could have done a lot more with World Mental Health Day. It may not be anything exciting nor an attractive topic, but it is the education and awareness that needs to be spread. True, Mind Your Head did promote an event for the day, and it was certainly great that established mental health organisations were involved, but more needs to be done to spread the word.
Sure the wellbeing sector has always been there, and the university has put a good focus on mental health in parallel with physical health, but the term “wellbeing” is coined to broadly describe one being healthy in numerous aspects and it would help if the university had more dedicated channels to provide help for mental health issues. Mental health gives an individual as much of a hard time as does physical illness, and should not be underestimated in its severity and its possibility of relapse. Being mentally satisfied is crucial towards sustaining a well-balanced life in both the academic and non-academic level. It is paramount that there is specialised support on-campus to ensure that students can thrive and go up and beyond in life.
We all experience struggles, but it is very important that we conquer those challenges and simply be happy. It’s not that difficult to raise awareness for a great cause, and all the better if we can truly understand what mental health is and what it may entail. Hopefully, next year will bring about a better story in what is actually a pursuit of happiness.
I expect a huge banner in the forum.