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NEWS

Mind Maintenance Week

Published 16th Oct 2012

Mind Maintenance Week is a new initiative brought to you by your Vice President of Welfare, Bakita Kasadha and her team of Welfare Warriors. From 22nd October to the 26th October Surrey, for the first time, will be running a mental wellbeing awareness project. The aims of Mind Maintenance Week are to make the student body aware of mental illnesses, whilst also combating the stigma surrounding them through encouraging students to talk about their experiences. Bakita says, “Mind Maintenance Week is a chance for students to learn more about mental health, and the aim of the project is to encourage people to talk about their mind, as these are issues that can affect anyone.”

25% of people are likely to have a mental health problem in one year. However, statistics from British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy revealed that young people are much more likely to suffer from depression.

Talking about mental health can help remove the stigma surrounding it. Time to Change, a charity dedicated to challenging the stereotypes around mental illness, reported that four out of five people with mental health problems experience discrimination, and over half of those said it happened every day, every week or every week. Most shocking of all, 35% of respondents said stigma had “made them give up on their ambitions, hopes and dreams”.

Throughout the week Bakita and her team will be running a variety of events to raise awareness surrounding mental disorders. The slogan for the campaign is Open Your Mind: Talk, Rethink, Understand. Monday and Tuesday of the week will focus on understanding and rethinking mental health problems, Bakita, with help from the Welfare Warriors, will be running a forum in which people can have any questions they may have about mental health addressed. Watch out for exact times and place on the Union Facebook. From Wednesday onwards the focus of the week will shift to finding solutions, such as joining a society, talking to your personal tutor or attending a sports club.

After Mind Maintenance Week a series of testimonials from Surrey students will be run. These testimonials will take the form of a video and aim to provide solace and encouragement to students in similar positions.

Bakita says, “It’s really important that students know the Union is there to help them with any mental wellbeing problems they may have.”

If you are interested in taking part in a testimonial video, please contact Bakita at ussu.welfare@surrey.ac.uk


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