Wednesday 28 February 2018

The Impact of Community: University Mental Health Day

For University Mental Health Day, Katie shares the importance of community to help tackle mental health while at university.
- Katie

How do you give back to your community?

I do a lot of volunteering, campaigning, and fundraising, both inside and outside of university. Back in 2016 I signed up to skydive for mental health charity, Mind, which was such an amazing experience but I definitely prefer terra firma! Currently I am a Student Minds Press Ambassador and within my students’ union I have been President of our Mental Health Awareness and Support society (MHAS), and currently Disabled Students’ Part-Time Officer.

Who do you speak to for your mental health?

I have used a variety of services, both in and outside university. My first point of call is usually my close friends, but I am getting more comfortable with talking to my parents. I make regular use of my university counselling service, as it can be very helpful to talk through how I am feeling – especially with a familiar staff member who knows my story. They can also help me see things from a different perspective, such as how resilient and strong I am. I also have an accessibility tutor, trained to help students with mental health difficulties, who assists me with planning my time and organisation. This helps me establish routines, especially for revision or assignments. Recently, I started my own YouTube Channel which I use to talk about my mental health story among other things.

What do you do for your mental health?

One of my favourite outlets is writing. I both blog online on my wordpress site and write creatively - stories and poems. I’m also pretty much never seen without my iPod earphones in my ears! Music can be soothing when I’m feeling down, or can provide an outlet such as going to music gigs where I can sing and dance. Being an advocate and talking openly about my experiences also helps, because I am helping others and creating an environment where we don’t feel alone in our struggles.

Where do you feel part of a community?

I feel part of a community where I am able to thrive, around people who have my back no matter what. This includes being around friends, my family, within my church, and university staff. These people have my best interests at heart and always try and support me in any way they can within their remit. I also use a lot of online spaces where I talk to other fans of TV shows I enjoy as well as fellow writers. They are supportive communities where I feel safe and able to be myself, and this is really important.

Take action and be part of a growing movement to transform the state of student mental health. Join a Student Minds group on your campus or set up a group today

Hi, I’m Katie, a geology student at the University of Leicester and Student Minds Press Ambassador. I was diagnosed with mixed anxiety & depressive disorder in 2015 and have since become a confident advocate, speaking out and writing about my experiences. 

No comments:

Post a Comment