Mental health pledges are big success

Lincoln SU’s pledge station calls time on mental health stigma

A pledge station outside the University of Lincoln Students’ Union saw hundreds of students commit to end stigma and discrimination towards people with mental health issues.

Students could commit to something personal, or sign pre-written pledges such as texting a friend regularly or going out with a friend who is going through a difficult situation.

Students were encouraged to think hard about what to pledge

Brian Alcorn, Vice President for Welfare and Community told The Tab:

“I was encouraging people to make it personal, ensure it’s realistic and to commit to the pledge,”

“By signing a pledge, you are setting yourself the goal of ensuring you carry out the action you have committed to, and to make it part and parcel of your daily life, rather than a simple one-off thing.”

The pledge station was carried out in conjunction with Time To Change, a campaign run by charities such as Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and the National Union of Students, who have been working with the campaign since last year.

The NUS estimate that 20% of students have a mental health problem, and have set the provision of support services for those with mental illnesses as a top priority.

Commending the work of the volunteers who ran the station, Brian noted that “the feedback was largely positive – only a handful of those who come to ask about it didn’t want to sign.”

Brian even made a Time To Talk pledge himself

“Those who we spoke to about the pledge by and large agreed that there was a stigma around mental health and were surprised to learn that 1 in 4 people will face mental health issues,” he added.

“I have faith that those who signed have gone away with a better understanding of mental health and a feeling of empowerment that they can do something, however small, which will have a positive benefit for those affected by mental health.”