Four out of ten adults in the UK will suffer from a mental health issue at some point in their lives, and thankfully this topic is finally beginning to get the recognition it needs. Thursday 3rd March is University Mental Health Day and it is being recognised in institutions nationwide, and here at Royal Holloway we are also taking part with a number of events through-out the day.
Our dedicated Students’ Union has organised a bake-sale on campus, with funds raised going to help the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust – a charity which fondly remembers one of our own students who sadly died last year, and its aims are to support young people with mental health issues and help them find their way. Also present today is one of the dogs from our regular Puppy Therapy sessions, which is aimed at providing help for students suffering from stress and anxiety during the term. These occur once or twice each academic term and all are welcome - it offers a period of relaxation, with donations invited to help the charity keep doing its fantastic work.
Students today will be encouraged to think about their top 5 well-being tips, and a recent app called Emoodjii launched by mental health charity Mind will be promoted around campus today. The Students’ Union also works in conjunction with the university to promote mental health awareness throughout the academic year, including a whole week in January with a variety of events created to support this – such as pub quizzes, student workshops and even performances through theatre and music to shine a light on the struggles of mental health. The Students’ Union is hoping to establish a Wellbeing Café soon, which will allow students to meet regularly on an informal basis to discuss good self-care collectively, and to share and discuss specific issues in a carefully facilitated space. Two new roles have recently been created within the Students’ Union which will work specifically to combat issues of mental health on a year-round basis, and lead campaigns directly raising awareness of Mental Health.
Our committed Support and Advisory Services Team are leading many of today’s events, and they are also here year-round to offer help to any student who might need it. Their open door policy makes it easy to drop by for any advice you might need, with help & advice available on a variety of topics including faith, health, disability and dyslexia, finance, residential issues, childcare and careers. There is also specific help available international students. With an on-site NHS Health Centre, medical attention is quick and there is also a student counselling service dedicated to helping students in times of trouble.
Here at Royal Holloway, we are very fortunate to have a huge variety of support services available, both offered through the Students’ Union and the university as a whole, working to combat the issues around mental health and provide help and advice to those in need. You can read more about University Mental Health Day on our Welfare and Sabbatical officer, Jack Kilker's blog.
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