Today is University Mental Health Day and today, YoungMinds have created an online guidebook to tackle the growing problem of mental ill health among students, and to raise awareness of inadequate support services at some universities.
Students Vs Stress at University: Coping on Campus has been created by YoungMinds activists who are current or recent students, to provide support as well as to act as a tool for students to campaign for better mental health services. This is increasingly necessary as NUS research conducted in 2013 found that:
- 20% of students considered themselves to have a mental health problem;
- 92% of students reported experiencing feelings of mental distress;
- 13% of students had suicidal thoughts;
- 64% of students did not receive any advice or support for their mental distress from formal services.
The booklet features real-life stories from students who have suffered from mental health problems themselves, as well as advice on how to look after yourself and on how students can go about starting their own campaigns.
Jasmine Wyeth, Lead Editor, said:
“I suffered from depression and anxiety while at university, and my negative feelings were compounded by the idea of university being the best time of your life, when for me it was a pretty awful time. My mental ill health affected both my academic performance and my social life and I feel strongly that no one else should have the same experience that I did. Good mental health, and by extension, good mental healthcare are rights, and so good quality mental healthcare should be easily accessible for all those who need it at every university in the country. I hope the zine can be step on the road to achieving that.”
Lucie Russell, Director of Campaigns at YoungMinds, said:
“The zine is the culmination of a long campaign, YoungMinds Vs Stress at University. It’s an incredibly important resource for students, at a time when they are facing numerous pressures – academic, financial, and social. The impact of poor mental health on student life can be devastating and it is vital that students are able to get the support that they need. The zine can be used by students to fight for that support.”