World Mental Health Day 2018: NUS Report Suggests 78% of Students Experience Mental Health Problems

Wednesday 10th October marked this year’s World Mental Health Day. This day, celebrated around the globe, aims to spread awareness and information about mental health, and reduce the stigma attached to those suffering.

Following on from last year’s theme of mental health in the workplace, this year sees focus on ‘Young people and mental health in a changing world’. This theme is particularly relevant in our current climate: a recent Childline study found that 96% of students reported feeling stressed, with 78% experiencing some form of mental health problems (NUS).

Figures show that 213 people took their lives in Leeds between 2011 and 2013. Last month, Leeds City Council pledged £70,000 of funding towards local groups, aiming to reduce the suicide rate in the area. The Council plans to spend this on projects designed to reduce social isolation, particularly in those areas with high rates of mental health problems.

To mark this occasion, Leeds-based organisation MindWell carried out a roadshow across the city’s various University campuses. MindWell is a mental health website which provides information about services in Leeds, as well as a variety of self help tools, and tips and advice.

On Wednesday morning, the Mindwell team set up a pop-up stall in the Union foyer, and provided promotional materials and fun activities themed around promoting good mental health.

Similarly, in honour of World Mental Health Day, Make Up Your Mind are launching their new mindfulness app aimed at children, teenagers and parents. The app focuses on ‘resilience, motivation, confidence, focus and stress control’, aiming to help students improve their coping skills while they work towards their degrees.

It combines research from areas such as mindfulness, neuroscience, sport psychology and optimal living literature, which are all brought together and applied in the ‘my mind’ section of the app, where users can add their own personal goals, habits and daily wins.

This app will be downloadable from app and play stores, as well as the day before World Mental Health Day (9th October 2018), and, to celebrate, will be available for free.

Jenny Bairstow

Image: [The Learning Support Centre]