World Mental Health Day “is a great opportunity”

Mental health is a subject that used to be only discussed in hushed voices, or within the walls of a GP surgery, where no one else had to know about the struggle you were facing.

Being a ‘taboo’ subject made dealing with mental health so much harder for those affected. This is why raising awareness and breaking the stigma surrounding mental health is essential.

This Saturday October 10 is World Mental Health Day. According to the Mental Health Foundation, statistics show that one in four British adults will experience at least one mental health problem in any one year.

With statistics like that, people need to be able to talk about their problems without feeling shunned or avoided.

Student mental health nurse, Luke Jarratt, told The Linc: “There is a lack of willingness to talk about mental health.” He stresses how vital being aware is for people along with getting the right information, and mentions that when students tend to need and ask about help is when they first come to university.

One event taking place in Lincoln this Saturday is a family event set up by the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT). From 10am on Saturday, members of the public will be able to see a selection of artwork that makes Lincolnshire residents happy in the Alive centre on Newland.

Trust Chair of the LPFT, Paul Devlin, said: “World Mental Health Day is a great opportunity for our staff and patients to come together and recognise the important work that goes on day in, day out.”

Here at the University of Lincoln, Wade Baverstock, Vice President for Welfare & Community at the Students’ Union, explained: “The issue is bigger than a single day, or week of awareness.”

This year, the Students’ Union will be holding five key events aimed at the stress points for a student throughout the year. This includes their event ‘Make the invisible visible’. In conjunction with the SU’s Disabled Students’ Group, this event aims to raise awareness of symptoms and break down the stigma.

Wade has said he encourages everyone to get involved this Saturday by sharing his social media posts to raise awareness.

If students are worried about their own or a friend’s mental health, the University of Lincoln’s Wellbeing Centre is always willing to help. The new SU advice centre opposite the library is also a great place for students to go if they need to talk to someone.

Awareness days are so important in understanding and accepting mental health. Although society may not be entirely comfortable with the subject yet, we’re getting there.