Friday 10 October marked World Mental Health Day 2014 and NUS is proud to be supporting students with mental health issues.
“This year we want to focus on the cuts being made to mental health services on campuses as we can see what a detrimental impact this is having on our students,” said Maddy Kirkman, NUS Disabled Students’ Officer. “We also want to carry on the work we’ve being doing with Time to Change.”
Last year, NUS teamed up with Time to Change to create a resource pack which enables students’ unions to take the first steps in creating change that truly supports students and employees with mental health problems. NUS is also encouraging students’ unions to sign up to Time to Change’s organisational pledge.
Earlier this year, NUS research found that 91 per cent of students in higher education experienced some kind of mental distress during their studies.
Many students choose not to disclose this to their institution, and do not access any kind of support. By signing up to the pledge, students’ unions will be offered a way of starting to address some of these issues on their own campuses. The pledge can also provide a springboard for mental health campaigns.
A number of students’ unions have already taken the initiative to sign the pledge themselves, often alongside their institution, and this year Maddy will be working to ensure that more sign up.
Across the country, students’ unions have been doing some great work on mental health, including Bath Spa’s Stamp out the Stigma campaign, UWESU’s mental health awareness campaign, and Sussex Students’ Unions Time to Change campaign.
‘We want to see more students’ unions running great campaigns like these and through the pledge we can really help this work,’ said Maddy.
‘However, it’s going to be difficult to achieve what we need to with the current cuts to mental health services that we’re seeing’.
You can find out more about the work of the NUS Disabled Students’ campaign here