Stress Relief at the University of Birmingham
In spring 2011, this concept came out of Birmingham University.
The University of Birmingham Disabled Students’ Officer (DSO) and Disability and Mental Health Students Association (DAMSA) are organising a Mental Health Awareness event for March 23rd and 24th 2011. March 23rd will be an introduction to mental health, where student groups will be running discussion events to help people learn more about what mental health is, before the main event on 24th: ‘How’s your mental health today?’
We hope that by taking this event onto campus as well as the Guild, we can reach every student on campus and promote the idea that everybody, not just those who define as having a mental health problem, has a mental health which needs caring for. This will help students to see the enhancement of mental health as part of a healthy lifestyle, both inside and outside of campus life.
To promote mental health care, we have teamed up with many university and student run support services and activities on campus will include, but not be limited to:
- Yoga taster session and Thrive (nutrition) workshop by the Munrow Sports Centre
- Body Image workshop by the Women’s Association
- Meditation with the Chaplaincy and Interfaith groups
- Stress management workshop by University Counselling and Guidance
- Introduction to Alternative Therapies by Well Naturally
- Tours of the Winterbourne Botanical Gardens and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts to show students ‘safe’ quiet spaces on campus
- A Nightline (student volunteer group) listening post
- Coffee and cakes with DAMSA
- Screening and discussion of a mental health film produced by the Guild TV society
In addition, the University has a mental health awareness officer who has contacts with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health trust, and we are hoping that the trust and staff from the new mental health hospital will also come onto campus.
We hope that the benefits of such a day will encourage all students to engage in activities which will improve their mental health, as well as meet people and societies which will offer new friendship groups. We strongly believe that peer support is of utmost importance when it comes to mental health care, and a clear show of support on campus will help students to realise that all people have a mental health to take care of! When students realise that they have both professional and peer support on campus, this will give students more focus on mental wellbeing, making people happier and redirecting those who would otherwise have considered suicide, while those who continue to contemplate suicide will know where they can find support.
Although most of the activities will not require funding as they are student-led, we will not be able to promote this event outside of the Guild and reach the full 28,000 university students without help towards advertising costs. We need to promote this event to students through marketing (posters, banners, flyers, t-shirts and electronic messages and bulletins) on all campuses and halls of residence, to spread a message of mental wellbeing.