University is said to be ‘The Time of Your Life’ but it’s important to remember that it isn’t all singing and dancing all of the time.
On Thursday, Gemma King, RUSU Welfare Officer, welcomed the Caravan Theatre to perform their play on mental health, The Time of Your Life. For 10 minutes a small group of students are immersed in the life of Alex, who is starting to struggle with his mental health, and his friend.
The aim was to remind students that it’s okay not to be okay whilst at uni and start a conversation about their mental health with friends, people on their course and flatmates. This can be tricky and so having open conversations about how you’re feeling even before you find you might be struggling is good practice, it makes it more normal.
The BBC picked up on what we were doing to kick off our mental health campaign #1in4 (You’re Not Alone) and wanted to share this with the rest of the South. Joe Campbell, a BBC reporter for the Thames Valley, put together a feature on mental health at universities and what universities and Student Unions are doing to solve it, and he used Reading as a good example.
Gemma had the opportunity to share her experience of mental health and how she coped while studying. She also shared more about her plans to ensure students have positive coping mechanisms for their mental health, be that the university providing appropriate resources, improved signposting for where to get help and having the right tools yourself.
Come along to the Mental Wellness Fayre on World Mental Health Day (10th October) in Monterey between 11:00-16:00 to pick up some free food as well as finding out more about where to go for help if you are struggling. There will also be a talk and a workshop to find out more about ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’. Keep an eye on the website to find out about other ways you can get involved with Gemma’s campaign to ensure students are not alone.
Samaritans provide a free and confidential 24/7 Listening Service.
A team of professionals, based in the Carrington Building, who are able to advise you on a wide range of personal and welfare issues that may impact your studies and day-to-day life.
This service offers free, confidential and specialist support to all students. You can book appointments with a Counsellor or a Mental Health Adviser.