Let's Be Honest

"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 comprehensive report on student mental health at ARU - including recommendations for how the university can improve provision for student mental health:




Some of the officers from last year and this year at the launch of the report.

 We have also produced 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 now produced the Let's Be Honest Report, drawn from a mental health survey which garnered more than 2,000 responses from ARU students. Read it above!

The report identifies key recommendations we are taking to the university in order to improve student mental health at our university.


  • The university is recruiting for a further three full-time positions in the Counselling and Wellbeing service.
  • Talks are scheduled for early 2018 with the University to discuss the recommendations.


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 ran a #30daysofselfcare social media campaign (2016-2017)
  • We had seven student stories of struggles, successes and advice displayed on our website in 2016-2017 and displayed a further seventeen pieces of student work and artwork at our Student Showcase at the report launch in 2017-2018.
  • We are organising monthly De-Stress events to ensure students have the opportunity to take a break and look after themselves and their peers - take a look to see what is coming up next!
  • We have put together a personal-tutor toolkit which will be circulated. We are also collaborating with ARU to review personal tutoring through a funded research project.
  • We secured and funded Mental Health First Aid training for 14 of our elected representatives in Feb 2017. We were delighted to offer this a second time inJanuary 2018 for 15 more elected representatives/Society Committee Members.


Students trained as Mental Health First Aiders in 2016-2017


Students trained as Mental Health First Aiders in 2017-2018


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 have put together a list of recommendations from our Let's Be Honest report, which has been shared with ARU and was launched publically on 6 Dec, 2017. Check out more about our launch here and view some pictures from our launch event here!
  • We shared the report with Nicola Dandridge, CEO of the Office for Students. She has provided us with a statement of support, which you can read here.
  • 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 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 

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