The day marks the launch of the #IChoseToDisclose campaign, which aims to break down barriers around disclosure, empowering students with the knowledge and confidence to talk openly about their mental health with their university and wider support networks.
A report launched last week by the Equality Challenge Unit found that 60% of students and 50% of staff with mental health difficulties have not disclosed these to their university and are not asking for the help and support they may need because of a lack of information or worries about unfair treatment. Accessing appropriate support is key in enabling students with mental health difficulties to make the most of their time at university, with 78% of students reporting that this had a positive effect on their work or study. Disclosing a mental health difficulty to your university is the first step towards putting this support in place. One student explained, “The mental health team made me feel I had proper support and that part of the university cared - which really reduced my stress and anxiety."
On over 60 campuses across the UK, Student Minds groups, Student Unions, Nightlines, and mental health services are collaborating to run workshops, fundraisers, info stalls, film screenings and more. As well as empowering students to feel more confident in opening up to their university or friends about their difficulties, these events aim to help students understand the importance of looking after their own wellbeing, and will share tips on how to support a friend. Student Minds will be supporting students to blog about opening up to a friend, and will host a Q&A on Twitter from 4.30pm.
Student groups and individuals across the country will also be taking part in the 100 hours challenge, which launches at 2pm on University Mental Health Day. This is a challenge to raise £100 in the space of 100 hours to support student mental health. Learn more about the challenge and how to get involved by watching the video here.