Use Your Voice for University Mental Health Day

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There are more than 2.3 million students currently attending university in the UK, and many of them are feeling the strain.

Academic pressure, financial stress and social issues can all be detrimental to a student’s mental health, but other aspects of the university experience can take a toll, too – around 30% of all students report clinical mental health issues.

University Mental Health Day is a huge day for student activism, and it helps students to tackle a cause that is often swept under the rug.

Every one of us has a quality of life that is shaped by our mental health, and in an era with greater mental health strain on students than ever before, that cause has never been so important. Join the campaign on the 7th of March 2019 to help inspire change and bring this crucial issue to light!

What is the “Use Your Voice” Campaign?

The “Use Your Voice” campaign is a way for students to speak out about their own experiences of mental health and mental health care in the UK.

With a media that seems torn between glossing over the stresses faced by students and labelling them “The Snowflake Generation”, it’s never been more important to make our voices heard and take back control of the narrative surrounding student mental health.

It’s time to speak up and be heard, to do something to help students who are suffering – that’s what Using Your Voice is all about.

Why Use Your Voice?

There are more than 2.3 million students currently at University in the UK, and more of them than ever are accessing mental health support services – around a third of the total number of students are reporting clinical levels of psychological distress.

The mental illness and distress reported is becoming more severe and leading to drop-outs and even self-harm – and that’s where University Mental Health Day comes in.

There are ways that students and the wider community can work together to see real change, which is why this University Mental Health Day, UMHD is bringing together the entire university community to highlight the importance of mental health care to all students and faculty.

Awareness of mental health issues has never been better, but there’s still so much to do to increase mental health literacy, boost the support available for students and fill any gaps in mental health knowledge.

With coordinated action, UMHD can make these changes a reality, and by using your voice, you can help!

Speak up today – students are the experts when it comes to the student experience, after all, and no-one understands the challenges, pressures and stresses of modern student life like they do.

The experience of individual students is key to improving the state of student mental health at UK universities – your voice has never been so important.

What is University Mental Health Day?

University Mental Health Day is exactly what it says on the tin – a day dedicated to improving student mental health, inspiring action and coordinating student efforts!

Bringing the university community together is what they do, and the goal is real, long-lasting change for students. This year, it’s taking place on Thursday 7th of March, and there are lots of activities, fundraisers and other ways to get involved!

Want to Get Involved With University Mental Health Day?

University Mental Health Day might be here already, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get involved – in fact, there are loads of ways you can help out! Why not look for a fundraiser or talk on your campus?

Or you could pop over to the UMHD official website, where you’ll find some awesome social media shareables that can help you spread the word (and they look great, too).

From banner images and cover photos to temporary profile pics and snappy infographics, there’s lots to decorate your feed with, and you can find the style of support that suits you best!

What UMHD Events Are On, and Where?

If you want to find University Mental Health Day events on your campus, you can track them in real time using the hashtag #UniMentalHealthDay on Twitter, Instagram or your social media of choice!

There’s also an interactive map available on the official University Mental Health Day website, and you can find it here.

Fundraising for University Mental Health Day

If you want to get involved with fundraising for University Mental Health Day, there’s still plenty of time!

Every little helps – if you would like more information on working fundraising into your event, you can email [email protected] or check out the fundraising suggestions below!

Fundraising Tips

Decide on Your Fundraiser

There are so many ways to raise funds for a worthy cause that we can’t list them all here – you could organise a run, do a clothes swap, run a pub quiz or set a yourself a personal challenge.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that you can publicise and raise funds for. Google it for inspiration if you’re looking to find something interesting and attention-grabbing!

Plan and Register Your Fundraiser

The official UMHD website is full of advice for planning a fundraiser and keeping it safe and legal – register there for tips and advice, and to get the University Mental Health Day team to help promote your event on their social media channels and website!

Publicise Your Fundraiser

You can publicise your event online or around campus – Facebook events, Twitter hashtags, Instagram, blogs, emails and posters are all great ways to raise awareness of a fundraising event, or you could talk to student societies and even lecturers to help pave the way to promotional success!

Pay in Your Fundraising

Once you’ve raised your funds, whether it’s by running a board games night, putting on a gig or shaving your head, you can pay in your funds on the Student Minds website, or, if you’ve set up a BT MyDonate page for the event online, simply sit back and watch as your contributors’ donations go directly to the cause!

Have a Great Time!

This might go without saying, but whatever you do, make sure to have fun! You’re raising money for a good cause, and helping student mental health to improve is something worth smiling about.

Previous University Mental Health Day Campaigns

UMHD 2018 – Community

In 2018, University Mental Health Day focused on the theme of community, helping to promote a sense of belonging on campus and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

The campaign also intended to improve awareness and understanding of the role played by environment and community in student mental health, and raise awareness of the specific challenges faced by students with regards to their support networks and sense of community.

UMHD 2017 – Active Mental Health

University Mental Health Day 2017 aimed to increase awareness of the link between mental and physical well-being, and promoted healthy eating and fitness alongside mental health support.

Mental Health Resources for Students

There are a lot of great resources available for student mental health, so if you’re suffering, or if someone you know is having a hard time at University, these sites are always available.

Don’t ignore your mental health, and the mental health of your friends – help make the world a brighter place for everyone this University Mental Health Day.