University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day is an annual event which aims to focus efforts that promote the mental health of people in Higher/Further Education. The Day is coordinated by the University Mental Health Advisers Network and Student Minds.
Today, for University Mental Health Day 2015, we have almost 60 UK universities getting involved and hosting a variety of events; including wellbeing sessions, guest lectures, photo competitions and film screenings. This year, the theme of the Day is choosing to disclose mental health difficulties, whether this be to a university, support networks or your GP. The aim of the #IChoseToDisclose campaign is to empower people in Higher Education with knowledge and confidence in the process of disclosing.
Mental health difficulties are extremely common; depression and anxiety take up more of a GPs time than any physical conditions, one in four of us consult a GP in any year with mental health-related difficulties and one in three people experience panic attacks at some point in their lives. A mental health difficulty may feel like an isolating experience but, the likelihood is, in most University classes there will be students or staff members with mental health difficulties that are impacting on their studies or work.
A report from the Equality Challenge Unit found 78% of students felt that disclosing to the university had a positive effect on their studies and 74% of staff felt disclosing had a positive effect on work. Despite this, there are many reasons why someone may not have disclosed to the university. We have compiled some responses to a small list of reasons for not disclosing so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not you choose to disclose.
Not knowing what will happen when you disclose can be a daunting prospect. As the services and support available can differ between each University, it is difficult to give you information on what will definitively happen during a disclosure discussion. However, we can advise you on what you should expect when disclosing and encourage you to think about your rights....
If there is any aspect of your University experience which you are having, or are likely to have, difficulty with (including social and leisure activities), you may be thinking about discussing this with your university or support networks. Disclosing a mental health difficulty can seem like a daunting experience, particularly if you aren’t sure of what to expect. Here are some useful things to think about beforehand…
The Pressures of University,
Change can be overwhelming.
Author: Emmy Gilmour of The Recover Clinic
It’s probably fair to say we’ve all experienced stress on a variety of different levels from deciding what to wear, to panicking about deadlines. While coming to university can be exciting and fun for some, for others it may be lonely, isolating and highly stressful.
You may feel like you’re juggling a lot: moving away from home, meeting new people, receiving that new timetable packed with an overload of information, having to look after yourself and of course finding time to fit in work with all that socialising.
Suffering in Silence: A graduate experience of mental health difficulties at university.
Depression is a very solitary experience and as such, acknowledging that you have a problem is something that can be very hard to do. I have suffered from depression and anxiety for the last three years and wanted to share some of my experiences so that other people don’t make the same mistakes I did, and get the help they need, when they need it.
University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day:
I Chose To Disclose
18th February 2015
University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day is an annual event aiming to focus efforts that promote the mental health of people in Higher/Further Education.
The next University Mental Health Day will take place on Wednesday 18th February 2015. In previous years, we have focused on promoting the five a day for mental health, the theme of voices and having your say. This year, the theme of the Day will be about choosing to disclose your mental health difficulties, whether this be to a university or to support networks.
Dan Doran, UMHAN Chair