University of Leicester join National Mental Health campaign

Posted by pt91 at Jan 04, 2012 11:24 AM |
Students join new initiative to promote mental wellbeing

Issued by Mental Weath UK on 15 December 2011

A mental wealth group at the University of Leicester are the twelfth group to join Mental Wealth UK’s national ‘25by2012’ campaign aiming to establish student-led mental health and wellbeing advocacy groups on twenty-five University campuses by the end of 2012.

The group which aims to promote mental wellbeing and reduce stigma associated with mental health issues across the Leicester community, the group is being driven forward by the Welfare and International Executive Officer, Suzi Burtenshaw, with a student leader to be announced in the New Year.

On becoming one of the 25, Suzi had to say, "The University of Leicester Students’ Union is really excited to announce the creation of the Mental Wealth society. Our main aims are to remove the stigma of mental illnesses and promote positive wellbeing on campus. The support of students wishing to get involved with the Mental Wealth society has been amazing and we are really excited to start campaigning on campus!"

The society aims to combat the stigma that surrounds mental health, raise awareness and understanding of wellbeing and link together current student support services available to students, signposting them to the most appropriate service. Already the initiative has gained the support of the university mental health and wellbeing team.

The campaign is being spearheaded by Mental Wealth UK, an award-winning organisation that provides support to student mental health advocates. Edward Pinkney, who founded Mental Wealth UK after launching a student society at the University of Leeds in 2008, said,

“More and more students are stepping forward to take leadership roles at their universities. The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ new report highlights the very real threats to student mental health and wellbeing, and with university resources stretched, we believe that student-led initiatives are going to play an increasingly important role in tackling these challenges.”

The 25by2012 campaign is being supported by a number of charities, including Action for Happiness, Time to Change, and Nightline. Sally Wood, the coordinator for Nightline, said, “With student mental health threatened, we think that this campaign is coming at exactly the right time. We’re delighted to support the 25by2012 campaign, and the vital work that Mental Wealth UK is doing in our student communities.”

-Ends-

Notes to Editor:

Mental Wealth UK is a student organisation committed to promoting positive wellbeing on university campuses. The organisation provides inspiration and support to a network of student Mental Wealth groups. It is currently the only national organisation dedicated to the mental health and wellbeing of university students. The organisation won an Unltd Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2010, and has been supported by the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, the Matthew Elvidge Trust, HEFCE, and Leeds Metropolitan University, amongst others. For more information visit www.mentalwealthuk.com

● The report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists is titled ‘Mental Health of Students in Higher Education’ and available here: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/publications/collegereports/cr/cr166.aspx

● Time to Change is a £10m campaign that aims to end mental health discrimination. It has been supported by Stephen Fry, and Ruby Wax, amongst others: www.time-to-change.org

● Action for Happiness is a charity that aims to build a movement of people committed to creating a happier society. The charity was founded by Lord Layard, and has been endorsed by, amongst others, the Dalai Lama: www.actionforhappiness.org.

● Nightline provides a confidential listening, emotional support, information and supplies service, run by students for students at their university. They work to improve student mental health and wellbeing and are open at night when no other university welfare services are available.

● Leeds Metropolitan University runs an award-winning Wellbeing Programme: www.mywellbeing.org

● The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust aims to raise awareness of depression, reduce stigma, and promote mental well-being. One of their projects is Students Against Depression, a website that features information about depression and blogs from students affected by the condition: www.cwmt.org / www.studentdepression.org

● The Matthew Elvidge Trust is committed to tackling depression in young people: www.thematthewelvidgetrust.com

Media Contact:

Edward Pinkney, Founding Director, Mental Wealth UK,  Tel: 07904787969, E-mail: e.pinkney@mentalwealthuk.com

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