The Mind Matters Day, 2009. The event that kicked it all off! From the Mind Matters Society at Leeds University.
In late 2008 Ed Pinkney, President of the Leeds University Enterprise Society, met with the Head of the Counselling Service to talk about how the Enteprise Society might be able to promote student services. Whilst there, he spotted a poster introducing the idea of a ‘mental health group’ and looking for other students that might be interested. Ed got in touch, met Dom Martin - a student who had had to take time off university the year before due to stress / mental health problems - and together they drew up a plan for The Mind Matters Society.
The first major event was the Mind Matters Day in February 2011, which took place in the main hall of the bustling student union. The counselling service and a handful of mental health organisations offered their time and energy to hand out leaflets and promote support services on the day, and a variety of freebies and entertainment was offered to attract students and engage them in the event. These included free massages, a bouncy castle, free food, DJs, and a raffle to win £300.
Over 700 students passed through the doors, participating in activities and learning more about mental health, and sharing ‘what they do for theirs’. The organisations involved congratulated the organisers, and encouraged the running of further events. Almost 1000 students completed a survey, helping the university to get a benchmark for mental health attitudes and awareness.
The event was featured in the local press, and was filmed by LSTV. The video of the event, featured above, won an award at the National Student Television Awards, and the Mind Matters Society was shortlisted for event of the year at the annual student awards.