Meet the Durham students tackling our mental health crisis

Don’t call them mental


Among the sports, politics and music stands at last weeks freshers fair, a new society is quietly making a big impact.

Heads Up, a mental health society part of the national Student Minds network which provides a safe space to all those struggling with university life, looks to fill a gap which has been noticeably empty in the past.

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“Our aim is to provide a space in Durham which is separate from all the craziness of regular life,” says Kirstin Stevely, the founder of the Society.

“There are so many problems that people face at university, including the abundance of alcohol, judgement from others and difficulty in accessing support. These things are all interlinked to make the transition to university a very difficult one.

“I have absolutely no doubt that there are hundreds of people at Durham and universities nationwide who have either a history of mental illness or will experience symptoms for the first time due to the massive change in lifestyle at university.

“We’re planning on doing fortnightly chilled night for people who want to get away from the typical Durham night out, with board games and alcohol-free activities.

“We are aware that a lot of student like is based around drinking and one of our aims is to make a place to take a break from that.”

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Their long term goals are to run campaigns and events raising awareness for different types of mental illness and the way it affects students in particular.

If you want to get involved in Student Minds, follow the Facebook page or contact them at [email protected]