World Mental Health Day 2023
The 10th October 2023 marked World Mental Health Day this year. The theme is “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right”.
WHO Says Mental Health is for Everyone
The theme was promoted by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Mental Health is a basic right for everyone.
It is defined by WHO as “not just the absence of mental disorder. It is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.
Navigating Student Life
I think this is important to promote because it should still remain at the forefront of people’s minds. I have struggled to find a balance with my mental health for a number of years and particularly as a student, it is difficult to justify the time and energy spent on looking after yourself. A common statistic, but of course still relevant, is that 1 in 4 people in the UK have experienced a mental health problem.
This can come in many different forms and it shouldn’t ever be undermined. If you ever feel like you don’t have the capacity to deal with what the day brings or a particular situation, take some time to focus on that and put what you need first. Looking after your own well-being, including your physical health, should be your priority.
When You’re Ready, Reach Out
Seeking help was the best thing I could have ever done in my situation, this being contacting a therapist and making an appointment with a GP. It can only be done when you are ready to talk about how you are feeling, and is important to do before it gets to a detrimental point. Other types of support available include peer support groups, this can help feel like you are not alone. Online or phone support is always an option to speak anonymously to an adviser who will be willing to listen and provide advice. And finally, medication from your GP can sometimes be a solution to help provide balance. Information on these kinds of support: Getting help for your mental health | Mental Health Foundation.
Factors Affecting Mental Health
Biological, psychological, and social factors can all affect your mental health. The additional pressures in life, such as finances, relationships, housing and the general cost of living, can be the cause but can also add fuel to an already burning fire for you. If these start to impact you negatively, it is important to seek support. You are not alone, despite the fact you might even have to pay for someone to speak to, as people want to help. If these aren’t the original causes for you, addressing your own state of mind first and foremost, and finding the right support will help you cope with those pressures when they come. More information on the different factors: Factors that affect mental health | Mental Health Foundation.
Look After Yourself, Before Others
You may also be supporting someone who struggles with their mental health. It is important for you not to take too much responsibility when it comes to someone else. Set boundaries for how much you can be involved, it doesn’t mean you don’t care, it’s so you don’t become unwell. You also can’t force someone to talk to you or for them to get help. You can only make suggestions of ways in which they can seek help. For more information on helping someone else: Helping someone with a mental health problem – Mind.
We’re here for you: Student Mental Health Support
As students, we deal with difficulties that come with our studies. Deadlines, motivation, study/life balance, finances, and isolation. If these affect your mental health, it can restrict your success and what you want to achieve at college. It can also impact how you deal with other responsibilities you may have. SRUC offer free support to all students at each campus, so please get in touch if you feel ready to talk:
- EdStudentSupport@sruc.ac.uk (Edinburgh & Glasgow)
Learn More and Get Involved
Please visit these sites for more information on World Mental Health Day, how you can support yourself, and what you can do for others:
- Home – Mind
- Mental Health UK – Forward Together (mentalhealth-uk.org)
- Mental Health Foundation | Good mental health for all
- Mental health – NHS (www.nhs.uk)#
- World Mental Health Day 2023 (who.int)
- Student Minds – Home
(Damson – SRUCSA Central Co-President)