Cardiff graduate heads student mental health drive
12th October 2011
National mental health campaign calls for student advocates.
A Cardiff neuroscience graduate is leading a new national campaign designed to help promote good mental health and wellbeing on university campuses.
Nathaniel Smith, who graduated earlier this year, is leading the Mental Wealth UK’s ‘25by2012’ campaign which aims to establish student-led mental health and wellbeing advocacy groups on 25 universities by the end of the year.
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.”
Since the first student-led mental health and wellbeing group was launched, twelve more groups have been set up, supported by Mental Wealth UK.
Groups aims to ‘bring mental health out of the shadows’ by challenging discrimination, raising awareness, and providing students with opportunities for training and skill-building.
Groups in Manchester and Cardiff were recognised at the 2011 national NUS awards, with one of the leading members of the Manchester group, Tayaba Nicholson, being awarded NUS Student of the Year for her campaigning.
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.”
Universities are being invited to get behind the campaign and make their university one of the 25. Students that are interested in setting up a group are being offered support and guidance.