Reports consistently show that poor mental health is on the increase, particularly in young people. The Times recently reported an increase of over 70% in prospective freshers reporting mental health issues to their university since 2014.
University Mental Health Day, which falls on Thursday 7th March this year, aims to unite the university community towards prioritising student mental health, and to create ongoing change. This year has a particular focus on the power of using your voice.
On Thursday 7th March, The James Burke Foundation has teamed up with LUU’s Womens’ Football Society to deliver a ‘University Mental Health Day Conference’, hoping to give a platform to discussions on mental health and wellbeing.
The conference will be led by both students and industry professionals, and will include interactive activities and roundtable discussions on various mental health-related topics.
The James Burke Foundation is a charity which raises awareness of mental health problems and delivers educational programmes, aiming to reduce the number of young people who take their own lives. It was founded after James Burke, a talented rugby player, tragically took his own life in 2016.
LUU’s Womens’ Football Society works constantly to promote a positive atmosphere regarding mental health. They have fundraised for The James Burke Foundation and for Stonewall, and last term organised a naked calendar to promote mental health awareness.
Niamh Donnelly, Community Sec for LUU’s Womens’ Football Society, said:
“In our club, we are working hard to ensure that we promote a positive message regarding mental health, and signposting local services. It is also really important that we make our society as accessible as possible for those experiencing significant difficulties with their mental health. The only way we can do this is to open up the conversation and learn from each other.”
Speaking about the upcoming conference, she continued:
“I’m psyched that we are doing this. The way that we engage with mental health is changing, and I am so proud to be part of this change.”