Do You Look After Your Mates?
Student Mind’s recent campaign aims to raise awareness, knowledge and support around mental health; they’re challenging the judgement and stigma of mental health using friendship. The Look After Your Mate […]
Student Mind’s recent campaign aims to raise awareness, knowledge and support around mental health; they’re challenging the judgement and stigma of mental health using friendship.
The Look After Your Mate campaign focuses on social interaction as a method of rehabilitating and normalising mental health. It claims that friendships are often central to diagnosis, stability and recovery. A main aim of this campaign is to raise awareness and knowledge about mental health so that the unknown is no longer scary for anyone involved.
Southampton University held a mental health awareness day in February, a mental wellbeing conference last Saturday and this week is Wellbeing week. Wellbeing Officer Josh Cox tells the Tab
The issues tackled in the conference were the issues around the stigma behind mental health. It is sometimes viewed as a bit of a taboo subject.
The University’s Wellbeing events have very similar aims to the Look After Your Mate campaign, both challenge stigma and aim to educate people. Josh describes the campaign as “an amazing initiative”.
Last weekend SUSU signed a pledge with Time to Change. This is a huge anti-stigma programme that has similar objectives to the University’s Wellbeing events and Look After Your Mate and aims to shift attitudes towards mental health problems.
Student Mind’s campaign also tackles the support that sufferer’s friends are receiving. Having a friend with a mental health condition can often leave you in the dark and distressed. Don’t let this happen. The campaign offers top tips for supporters that recommend you:
- Know Your Stuff. Do some research around the condition. Anything from symptoms to recovery could help you support your friend better.
- Stay Normal. Freaking out will isolate yourself and your friend. Normalise their life as much as possible. If they’re in hospital, update them on small details and gossip from University life. Stay in contact and stay relaxed.
- Support Yourself. Don’t forget you will need support as well. Mental health is a serious and often distressing topic and you’ll need a support system in place for your own concerns and troubles.
Mental health is a complex topic but the campaign’s tips are a great start. Look After Your Mate challenges the fear of being judged and by raising awareness of mental health, this fear will hopefully decrease. Georgia Guppy, English student at Southampton University, uses blogs and videos to do her part in raising awareness. She tells the Tab
Mental health problems are impossible to face alone and can make you feel incredibly isolated, so this campaign… could make the crucial difference between a student completing a degree and dropping out of university.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised within this article please call samaritans 24 hour hotline on 08457 909090