"Let's be honest, everyone is happy to talk about mental health until someone actually has a mental health problem"
Continuing from last year's Officer team, we identified students' mental health as our top priority campaign. Across the country there is a rise in students suffering from a number of mental health issues, often going undiagnosed with a lack of support. We don't want to stand for that anymore.
We are ready to start talking about mental health in an open and honest way.
We believe that addressing the stigma around mental health, equipping students to support each other, and increasing the awareness and provision of support available are fundamental to make Anglia Ruskin a community who genuinely cares for each other.
Following last year's student mental health survey, we have worked together to produce a Mental Health Tool Kit for students:
Here are our aims for the Let's Be Honest campaign:
1. The Anglia Ruskin community will be educated about mental health issues and the services available to students;
We have created a survey to find out about the current mental health of our students and what support services they are aware of. We will then use this research to inform our future work in the creation of wellbeing guidance, staff toolkits and the development and promotion of existing services to improve students’ wellbeing and mental health.
- The Let's Actually Be Honest Survey had 2,309 students taking part, and 1,736 useable responses. We then employed a PGR student, Hannah Belcher, to analyse the data and create a detailed report. This report looked at the real life experiences of students at ARU, their mental health and wellbeing and the in-house services that are available to support them in order to establish and drive forward our own recommendations for change. This report is now being taken forward to our Mental Health strategy group.
2. Students feel comfortable talking about mental health issues and are equipped to support each other, creating a real ethos of care within our community;
We will be working to facilitate mental health first aid training for our elected representatives (including our reps and club & society committees) and staff to enable them to effectively signpost and appropriately support our students. We will be running a #30daysofselfcare social media campaign to encourage self-care and looking after each other.
- We secured and funded extra training for 14 of our elected representatives, ensured more SU staff had the opportunity to be trained and are now looking into how we can extend this further.
- We ran a #30daysofselfcare social media campaign
- We had 7 student stories of struggles, successes and advice submitted
- We are organising monthly De-stress events to ensure students have the opportunity to take a break and look after themselves and their peers
- We have put together a personal-tutor toolkit which will be circulated
Photo- our reps and committee members after completing their two-day Mental Health First Aid training
3. The University will address and change if necessary, their provision relating to the mental health of our students;
We will be lobbying the University to review and change as appropriate, their current mental health provisions, including a free timetable on Wednesday afternoons, and taking an active stance against any cuts to related funding (both locally and nationally).
- We are currently putting together a list of recommendations from our Let's Actually Be Honest report, which will be taking forward and lobby the university to implement
- We have lobbied the university to ensure as many courses as possible benefit from Free Wednesday Afternoons to allow them to take part in self-care activities
- We worked with Sport & Active Anglia to introduce a trial run of Women-Only Hours in the Cambridge gym, with the look to make this permanent and across both campuses
We would love for you to get involved in this campaign so please get in touch, and share it around!
Jamie, Laura, Johanna, Eliza and Kirran
Your Officer Team