UWE Students' Union hosts Mental Health Awareness Road Show

Issue date: 08 October 2012

Logo - UWE Mental Health Awareness Road Show

UWE Students' Union in partnership with UWE's Healthy University group and Wellbeing Services will mark World Mental Health Day (Wednesday 10 October) with a weeklong road show, aimed at raising students' awareness of mental wellbeing and the advice and support services on offer to them at the University.

The Mental Health Awareness Road Show will visit all five UWE campuses from Monday 8 - Friday 12 October and is part of an ongoing campaign to encourage individuals to be more open about mental health.

In February this year, UWE Students' Union cemented its support to end mental health discrimination by signing up to the Time To Change pledge, a national anti-stigma campaign run by the leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

Louise Goux-Wirth, UWE Students' Union Vice President Community and Welfare, says, “It is crucial that as a Students' Union we campaign on issues that affect students here at UWE. We know that one in four people will experience a mental health problem within their lifetime, which means in a diverse community of 30,000 students, a large proportion of students could be affected.

“Good mental wellbeing impacts on so many aspects of students' lives; from their satisfaction on their course, to their ability to settle into university life. The Mental Health Awareness Road Show aims to take the message to each UWE campus, through an interactive and engaging campaign. University life can be challenging, if you don't know where to ask for help. We hope to build bridges for students, and create a culture of positive wellbeing. We hope you'll join us in the conversation to end the stigma of mental health.”

At the road shows, student volunteers and staff from UWE Wellbeing Service will be giving out leaflets and sweets to students, to get the conversation going about ending the stigma of mental health and to ensure that students know where to go for support.

First year student, Holly Ridson, is strongly behind the campaign. She says, “You wouldn't say man up if someone had cancer. You wouldn't say man up if someone had broken their leg. So I don't think that we should say man up when someone has a mental health issue.”

Raising awareness of the wellbeing services available to students is a vital part of the campaign. According to a recent survey 'Silently Stressed' carried out by NUS National Union of Students of Scotland, 54% of participants sought support from family or friends, whilst only 17.3% sought support from institutional counselling.

Diane Zimmer, Head of Wellbeing Service at UWE Bristol said, “The Wellbeing Service provides a range of support to help students with their personal development and mental health needs. We have a team of practitioners who offer mental health, counselling and wellbeing mentoring support. To access the service, students can register on-line via our website which is www.uwe.ac.uk/wellbeing. It takes about 30 minutes to complete the form which is then reviewed by staff to ensure that we offer a tailored service to students. Students can also use our drop-in service which offers same-day, term time appointments every day at Frenchay and Mondays and Wednesdays at Glenside and Bower Ashton. We also have practitioners on duty during office hours Monday through Friday who are available for urgent support. The Wellbeing Service can also be contacted on 0117 32 86268 or wellbeing@uwe.ac.uk.”

The Mental Health Roadshow will be located each day at a different UWE Campus: Monday 8 October – Frenchay, Tuesday 9 October – Bower Ashton, Wednesday 10 October – St Matthias, Thursday 11 October – Glenside, Friday 12 October – Hartpury.

For more information see: http://www.uwesu.org/news/article/uwesu/Mental-Health-Awareness-Roadshow/

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