The first University Mental Health Day was piloted by UMHAN in 2008. From what we remember there were a few events held at a select few universities - all put on by UMHAN members. The original premise was to hold events to raise the visibility of mental health on campus, and so help to break down stigma.
Since then, the event has grown and grown. We have always worked closely with Student Minds, and since 2012 we have run the day together. Their influence has helped promote the participation of Student Unions and students.
It's great to see that events are often now run by whole student support or academic departments. External service providers, such as student accommodation, local NHS services and private companies have now started taking part too. There are a wide range of events - from coffee and chat to film festivals.
This year's Uni Mental Health Day is on Thursday March 14th 2024.
Please go to the Uni Mental Health Day website for more details about the day and how to get involved. Please sign up to the newsletter for the most up to date information.
I Chose to Disclose
This year we will be promoting our "I Chose to Disclose" campaign. This was launched in 2017 to try and dispel myths associated with the perceived dangers and disadvantages of disclosure. We aim to equip current and prospective students with mental health conditions to make an informed and confident decision about sharing information with their university about their mental health.
This is a particularly important message after the details of recent student suicides have come to light.
We are asking current and former students to share stories about the benefits of disclosing.
You can find out more on our dedicated webpage.
We know, from many years of feedback, that our members like a theme to be able to base activity around.
This year we are asking
When does anxiety become a problem?
which links in with our "I Chose to Disclose" campaign.
Anxiety is a natural human reponse to certain situations where we feel under threat, afraid, or under pressure. Most people experience anxiety at various points in their life. However, for many people, anxiety impacts their day to day life and functioning.
Some common situations where students feel anxious are starting university, finishing university, making friends and connecting, assessments, exams, group work and presentations, finance.
We invite you to answer some of the following questions on UMHD 2024:
- Can I manage anxiety myself?
- When do I know this is a problem and should seek support?
- What different ways are there to manage anxiety, and what works?
- What different ways does my university offer support with anxiety?
This could be via a stall, social media campaign, podcast, activity, workshop - get your thinking caps on!
We are holding a free webinar on this subject on the day.