Here’s what CCCU are doing for World Mental Health Day this year.
World Mental Health day is a day for raising awareness against the social stigma surrounding mental health.
It takes place on Wednesday October 10 and allows Canterbury Christ Church University alongside the Students Union to showcase the value the mental wellbeing of all staff and students.
Mental health problems can affect anyone on any day of the year however next week is the chance to show your support for each others wellbeing and your own well being.
Christ Church Students’ Union Wellbeing President, Jamie Harris, would like all students to celebrate World Mental Health day.
He said: “This day will help promote a positive environment as well as raising awareness of the mental health issues that surround us.
“Additionally, it will highlight the work that we are doing throughout the year to create a happier, kinder and more mentally healthy university for everyone.
“As well as helping to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health, let’s use this day to emphasize the needs of all and help support each other.”
There are lots of activities happening throughout the day to get involved with:
- Looking after your Mental Wellbeing: Old Sessions House and Augustine House, 10am – 4pm
- Sex, Drugs and Mental Health: Laud Touchdown, 10am – 4pm
- Students’ Union Fun on the Lawn: Anselm Lawn, 10am – 4pm
- Hatters Tea Party: Lg47, 10.00am – 4pm
- An Introduction to Mindfulness: Augustine House AH1.21 at 11am and Lg25 at 1pm
- CCCU Creatives and Language Drop In Session: Lg25, 1-2pm
- Bite-size Mental Health Talks: Powell Lecture Theatre, 2pm – 4pm
- Augustine House Library – Write the Blues Away: 2-3pm
- Sidney Cooper Gallery
- Lecture: Institutional Racism in Mental Health System: Og46, 17.30 – 20.00
- Performing Art Students Showcase: Anslem Studio, 7pm
- SU Final Whistle: The Lounge, 8pm
- Wellbeing Walk every Wednesday at 12:30pm
Head of Student Support, Louise Jennings has spoken out about what support is available for CCCU students struggling with mental health problems.
She said: “We’ve got a disability team, we’ve got a student wellbeing team, they do a daily drop in where students can come and be sign posted out to wherever and whatever other services but into our services as well.
“We have a mental health and wellbeing team which consists of a counselling team and a mental health practitioner. They do a lot of the practical work which could be about putting together a learning support plan, liaising externally with mental health teams as well.
“With counselling, it’s very traditional: short term therapeutic space for students to explore whats going on for them but within a short term framework.”
‘We see over 25% of our students engaging with our services – but we’re working on being more approachable’
“What we have as an ongoing challenge is a hard to reach concept. Many students don’t want to come into our spaces and seek our help, talk to the disability team about a disability they might not want to have to share.
“Our real target and where we need to do more work in trying to be approachable on different platforms and accessible to a wider range of platforms.
“I think the Chooseday Chill event initiative that the SU and us have been working on is a really good way to make us more approachable. It provides an opportunity for people to come in, in a space that is outside of core hours and make connections with people alongside light touch conversations with different people which could potentially lead to more support down the line.”
‘It shouldn’t have an affect on your academic journey’
“We also have focuses on courses, relaxation sessions and things which aren’t such the traditional way of one-on-one counselling. It doesn’t mean that students have to walk and approach us through our ‘front doors’ to seek that support, this being another string to our bow really.
“We’ve already done training with the wellbeing officers of our sports teams here at Christ Church and keeping that communication line open.
‘We also need to work on looking out for our mates and us all being accountable’
“We need to learn to recognise signs and knowing where to go to if you have concerns about someone thats really important to so those wellbeing representatives within sports teams are a really good link.
“Wellbeing representatives are important as thats when you might notice that somebody isn’t quite right, and you can have that conversation or get in touch with us to start that link and be able to manage it.”
So, what can we all do this Wednesday?
Louise added: “I think its about engaging with anything, for that day thinking about your wellbeing and thinking about what works for you.
“I run, thats what I do and I think everybody needs to consider ‘what is it that makes me feel better? Do I read, is it music, do I exercise, what works for me?’ and then trying to build that into long term, what you do day in day out, week in week out and looking after our own wellbeing and on Wednesday especially to really think about that.”