#1in4 (You’re Not Alone)

Aim

Students have (and know how to use) positive coping mechanisms which will have a positive impact on mental health.

Outcomes

  1. Improved appropriate resources for mental health provisions at the university
  2. Improved signposting so students know where to go to access appropriate support
  3. Tools to improve positive coping mechanisms for your own mental heath

Progress

  • Caravan Theatre

    We welcomed the Caravan Theatre on the 26th September to perform their play, The Time of Your Life. It is a 10 minute play about friendship, thumb wars and struggling with mental health at university. Nearly 80 of you came to watch!

  • Top tips

    We have been collecting your top tips for things you do to improve your mental wellbeing. Check them out below! g your top tips for things you do to improve your mental wellbeing. Check them out below! Gemma has also started a podcast where she speaks to students and staff about mental health and their top tips which you can find the link here

  • Mental Wellness fayre

    On World Mental Health day Gemma and Open Mind held a Mental Wellness Fayre so you could find out more about how you can help someone in need, where to get help yourself and find out more about the stranger on the bridge.

  • Collected evidence

    We have collected evidence about students’ mental health and are collating it to take to the university.

  • Welfare Directory

    The RUSU Welfare Directory provides contact details for a variety of organisations and support within, and external to, the University of Reading.

#1in4 (You’re Not Alone) is RUSU’s campaign to tackle the mental health crisis many students suffer from whilst at university.

It can be a very difficult and confusing time when you’re struggling with your mental health, particularly with the portrayal of mental health in the media, and we want all students at Reading to know that you’re alone.

What does 'Mental Health' actually mean?

Often, people associate the term ‘mental health’ with having a mental illness. A mental health charity, Mind, offer a really good explanation of what mental health means:

In many ways, mental health is just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.

Good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. But if you go through a period of poor mental health you might find the ways you're frequently thinking, feeling or reacting become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with. This can feel just as bad as a physical illness, or even worse.

Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Your experiences

We have been collecting your experiences of mental health and the support services available and are working to collate this to take it to the university.

Top tips

As part of the campaign we wanted to give you tools to have positive coping mechanisms for your mental health alongside lobbying for improved mental health provisions at the university. We know that it can be hard to find things that work for you when you’re trying to improve your mental health so we asked you for your top tips, here are some ideas!

Events

University Mental Health Day

Thursday 5th March 2020 #UniMentalHealthDay #UMHD20

To celebrate University Mental Health Day, RUSU and the University are running a number of free events and activities on campus throughout the week of Monday 2nd March – Friday 6th March. These events include:

  • Mar
    2

    Sport in Mind Yoga

    Sportspark

    A free relaxed yoga session at Sportspark for anyone that wants some stress relief. Just say you’re with Sport in Mind at Sportspark reception.

  • Mar
    2

    Sport in Mind Mindfulness session

    Sportspark

    A free mindfulness session at Sportspark to help relieve stress and anxiety, and learn techniques to live ‘in the moment’. Just say you’re with Sport in Mind at Sportspark reception.

  • Mar
    2

    Film screening: Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out

    Mojos Bar, RUSU

    Join us in Mojos Bar on for a free HD screening of Pixar’s Inside Out, with the film being shown on the big screen. Comfy sofas, £1 popcorn and the bar open with a wide selection of alcoholic and soft drinks. Book your place now!

  • Mar
    3

    Calm and Craft

    RUSU

    A relaxed and mindful environment, giving yourself space to get creative!

    Paints, clay, collage and any other suggestions; come and play with some arts materials and give your mind an hours’ break from busy University life. Register your interest on Facebook.

  • Mar
    4

    Guest speaker: Hope Virgo on challenging the stigma of mental illness

    3sixty, RUSU

    Hope Virgo, author of Stand Tall Little Girl, talks about using her experiences of mental illness to champion the rights of others, inspire them to get well, and help break the stigma of mental illness. Book your place now!

  • Mar
    5

    Samaritans talk on suicide awareness and holding difficult conversations

    Thet Win Aung Boardroom, RUSU

    Dave Calver and a volunteer from Reading Samaritans host a talk about suicide. The talk will cover what it might mean to be that low, signs that someone might not be okay/what to look for, and a run through around holding difficult conversations (as a mechanism for helping people start conversations with others). Book your place now!

  • Mar
    5

    Promoting Wellbeing Through Community Art

    Monterey Lounge, RUSU

    Staff and students are invited to take a ‘mindful and relaxing’ break, and drop in to graffiti a black and white postcard of an image from the University’s archives. The session is designed for everyone, regardless of artistic abilities and participants are invited to join for as long or as little as they wish to.

    This is the first of these workshop, hosted by Executive Support colleagues in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, led by an artist from the local creative arts charity Jelly, and with the financial support of the University’s Arts Committee. If you would like any more information, please contact Polly Tudball on vc@reading.ac.uk.

  • Mar
    6

    Positivitree

    RUSU

    Keep an eye out for Gemma’s Positivitree; throughout the week students are encouraged to add messages of positivity on leaves and hang them on the tree. Friday is the day to pick up a leaf to keep!

Make sure to check out Gemma’s podcast, #1in4 (You’re Not Alone), as part of her year-long campaign to encourage students to access and use positive coping strategies which will have a positive impact on their mental health. Listen to the episodes now on Spotify or iTunes.

Keep an eye on our social media for updates throughout the week.

Past Events

  • Sep
    26

    Caravan Theatre: The Time of Your Life

    Front of RUSU

    An intimate 10-minute play inside a caravan about friendship, thumb wars and struggling with mental health at university.

    Audio description and BSL interpretation available. There are also wheelchair accessible performances.

    Free. No booking required

  • Oct
    9

    Wednesday Union: #1in4

    3sixty, RUSU

    Come along to Wednesday Union with a mental health theme. Get your tickets in the usual way and help raise awareness of mental health. We hope you’ve recovered for the Mental Wellness Fayre tomorrow!

  • Oct
    10

    Mental Wellness Fayre

    Monterey, RUSU

    Come along to find out where you can get support for your mental health, to take part in our anonymous survey about students’ mental health at Reading, to have a go at our workshops and to hear more about ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’.

Videos

What does mental health mean to you?

Why do you think there’s such a stigma surrounding mental health?

Why do you think body image Is such a big issue for young people and students?

What would you say to someone struggling with their mental health who might watch this video?

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

Gallery

Contacts

Here at the University, or externally, there are lots of different avenues you can go down to get the support that’s right for you.

RUSU Advice Service
Tel 0118 378 4100
Email advice@rusu.co.uk

Based in the Students’ Union and offers free, confidential and independent advice on housing, finance and academic issues. Visit the RUSU Advice section for more information.

Student Welfare Team
Drop-in Monday - Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Email studentwelfare@reading.ac.uk

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.

Counselling and Wellbeing
Tel 0118 378 4216 | 0118 378 4218
Email counselling@reading.ac.uk

This service offers free, confidential and specialist support to all students. You can book appointments with a Counsellor or a Mental Health Adviser.

Samaritans
Tel 116 123
Website www.samaritans.org

Samaritans provide a free and confidential 24/7 Listening Service.

No5
Tel 07984 357551 | 0118 901 5649
Email info@no5.org.uk
Website no5.org.uk/

No5 provides free, confidential counselling and support to children and young people aged 10-25.

Where did the idea come from?

We hear a lot that mental health is something a lot of students struggle with. Poor mental health is something that students suffer from disproportionately more than the rest of the population.

  • Student Minds are experts on this so we turned to them to find out more.
  • YouGov also wrote an article on how 1 in 4 students suffer from mental health problems.
  • The University Welfare team are supporting a lot of students suffering from mental health problems – it is the number one reason students see them .
  • In summer 2019, a Change It! campaign idea passed with 233 votes for RUSU to campaign for the University to improve mental health support.
RUSU Welfare Officer 2020/21 Bandy Karki

Welfare Officer
Bandy Karki