International Mental Health Day

Credit: Kelly Pyart

Photo: Kelly Pyart

It is World Mental Health Day and to celebrate this, Unison held an event to raise awareness and support those who suffer from mental health illnesses.

The event, held at the University of Lincoln, welcomed people from all walks of life who were interested in assisting and finding out about the profile of mental health.

Several stalls were present at the event, delivering expertise, guidance and support. They included Shine, a national charity; the Student Wellbeing Centre; and Upbeat, a group offering a safe environment for people to share experiences of personality disorders.

Students who suffer from mental health disorders could view the various options to receive support, help and treatment.

Olivia Hill, Vice President for Welfare and Community, told us: “The Students’ Union are all for people talking about mental health. We think it is really important to try and dispel some of the stigma with mental issues, and so we encourage people to talk about it.

As part of her role, she is planning on running a week-long campaign next year to deal with depression, anxiety and stress around the time when students will be under pressure from endless exams and deadlines.

Olivia gave some fantastic tips on how to help combat depression: “I say to talk to someone. It is so important to tell people what is going on so they can help you.

“Make sure you make time to enjoy stuff. Do something that you love, do not feel guilty for not working all the time, and give yourself treat time.”

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Photo: Kelly Pyart

Robert Glanton, Chairman and Trainer from Upbeat, said: “We are here today to raise awareness of personality-related problems because 40% of the adult population could have a personality disorder.

“There are ten types: paranoid, schizotypal, schizoid, narcissistic, anti-social, borderline, histrionic, avoidance, dependence and obsessive compulsive personality disorders.”

The Student Wellbeing Centre is also there to provide comfort to those who need it. Christine Fox, a mental health adviser for the service, said: “My job this year is to make the right connections with health providers and students to find out what you want. That way we can cater our service to you and give you what you need as opposed to providing what we think you need.”

Sam Casson, from the SU’s student buddy service was there to get people to sign the national Time to Talk petition, which has over 65,000 people signed up.

He tells us the reason why: “Basically, it is a pledge which people can take to say they are going to stop the social stigma surrounding mental health disorders, and it is gaining lots of momentum with big sponsors such as Mind.”

The student buddy service can also aid those who suffer from depression: “We have a student buddy service which is to help people with anything mild and stuff that university students may deal with on a daily basis.

“During the year, we put on workshops and other events like this, where you can come in and talk to people and see what the university has to offer.  We do stress busting sessions, and anything that you can find useful.”

You can sign the petition here: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/

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