The first day of March marks an important yet often overlooked day. It’s University Mental Health Day.
This National campaign aims to focus efforts on promoting the mental health of those who work and study in higher education – to people just like us and our lecturers, accommodation providers and support staff.
We are lucky to be in a time when so much awareness in shone on mental wellbeing. As mental issues don’t often leave any outside signs, they sometimes aren’t awarded as much importance as physical illnesses.
But depression or anxiety can lead to mental pain much worse that a broken leg and need to be regarded as just as serious an issue.
I think it’s great that universities around the UK are dedicating an entire day and working so much to help open the discussion around mental health. Higher education can be a very stressful place for some and I’m glad that the people at the top are starting to understand that their students’ mental health should be one of their top priorities.
Students are often experiencing independent life for the first time when entering higher education which can be very daunting and lonely experience. Along with this comes the social pressure to fit it and make vast numbers of friends within the first semester. Peer pressure to start drinking and partying can also cause extreme stress on students. On top of all this we are expected to attend every lecture, hand in large amounts of coursework, and obtain perfect scores in our exams. It’s no surprise really that so many students feel like they can’t cope with life in higher ed.
The important thing to remember in these times is that you aren’t alone.
Everyone is feeling the same pressures to do well in class and go out every Friday without crumbling under the workload. But if things do seem like they’re getting too much, there is always someone to talk to. Most universities have special numbers or nightlines you can call when times are tough and a simple google search will pull up multiple charities that are all happy to listen.
Mental health is a serious issue and every higher education institution in the UK should be doing their part to make sure their staff and students are happy and healthy. So do your part, get involved and let people around you know that they aren’t alone. Everyone is affected by mental health and everyone deserves to be happy.
Check out the University Mental Health Day website and find out what your university is doing to spread awareness.
This is a blog by Uni Life Blogger Caitlin Wilson.