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Mental Health Awareness Week: What's Going on at UoN?

Holly Cromwell

Thursday, 14 March 2024

Holly talks about what is happening at UoN during Mental Health Awareness week, exploring events, support available, and student opinions.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week here on campus! Keep an eye out for your school’s mental health day for freebies and relaxing games. (Unfortunately, STEM students, we’ve noticed you tend to be left out here – is this your chance to talk to your Student Reps about it? You deserve free hot chocolate too.) There are also university-wide events to remind us to take time for ourselves, slow down for a second and prioritise ourselves in the face of the ugly, looming spectre of deadline season.


Now, this week is not without controversy. Over the last few days, I’ve heard people describe it as infantilising or useless, a plaster over a bullet hole: student mental health is notoriously bad.  This year’s House of Commons Research Briefing on it even suggests our mental health is up to seven times worse than our predecessors from 2010. The thing is, Mental Health Awareness Week is not supposed to fix things. Yes, the activities provided do tend to be based in mindfulness, but the point is to remind everyone on campus to take a moment and evaluate themselves. How aware are you of your mental health? How are you actually feeling at this moment? How do you feel about your university work, your pays-the-bills work, your relationships, your life?


For some of us university can suck because it’s difficult, challenging, or full-on; for others, challenging may be an understatement. There may be things we can do to make it more accessible; there might not be. This is a chance to think about how you’re doing, and maybe even make a few changes to make your life a little easier. It took me three years to finally put in that support request my personal tutor recommended in first year, and another term to figure out how it actually works. Might as well start now.


I’ll also take this opportunity to shout out resources for when things get tough. I’m on committee for Nightline, full disclosure, so I obviously want you to know our phone lines and IM system are open every night of term from 7 pm –  8 am whether you have something to talk about or just don’t want to feel alone. But Nightline is not the only resource you have: the university wellbeing service has a full directory you can find at this link (Student Wellbeing (nottingham.ac.uk)) and whilst a lot of it is now referral only, you can get that referral from the support and wellbeing officer attached to your faculty. You can find them through the link above or from the MyWellbeing section of the studentlife site.


Go forth and find your freebies, but do keep in mind what this week is all about.

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Images provided by University of Nottingham. For more information about Mental Health Awareness at UoN please visit the following website: University Mental Health Day - The University of Nottingham


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