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UPSU supports World Mental Health Day 2019

World Mental Health Day 2019 falls on Thursday October 10th this year, of which its purpose is to raise awareness of mental health conditions. This year’s World Mental Health Day will focus on ‘suicide prevention’.

The World Health Organisation recently revealed its latest campaign calling for ’40 seconds of action’ to help raise awareness of this global health problem, improve knowledge and understanding of suicide as well as reduce the stigma and let people who are struggling know they are not alone.

This campaign aims to encourage people to use 40 seconds to help impact on someone’s life, whether it’s a 40 second conversation with someone who’s struggling, taking 40 seconds to talk to someone about your own mental health issues or taking 40 seconds to share statistics or a positive message over social media, reaching someone who may need to hear it.

As part of this awareness campaign, UPSU is hosting a number of different activities within the SU. A range of community partners will be available to talk to in the Big Room, providing advice and support on a range of mental health issues. Board games will be available to spark up a conversation with someone who may be struggling and SU staff will also be available to have a chat with you about how you’re getting on at university between the hours of 12pm and 2pm.

The Students for Global Health society will also be marking the day with an evening of talks, discussion and cake in association with Student Minds in the Plymouth Lecture Theatre in the Portland Square Building. Between 6pm and 8pm, Associate Professor in Mental Health Nursing Francis Thompson will be hosting a discussion on mental health and his career, and there’ll also be the opportunity to take part in a workshop and talk on the subject matter of suicide prevention. To receive a free self-care and mental wellbeing themed goody bags, make sure you are one of the first 25 people to sign up to attend via this link: https://forms.gle/SfWgX4N3TLUKFMfz7

The Students for Global Health society said: “We are getting involved as a society because we believe global health extends beyond simply physical health, but the mental wellbeing of the global population. The two are inextricably linked. Using our network, we have created an event that aims to inform but also discuss some of the issues and gives students resources to take away to take care of themselves and others.”

NurSoc will also be hosting a ‘Tea and Talk’ event, where people can sit, have a chat, drink tea and eat cake in a safe, welcoming and non-judgemental environment, encouraging and empowering those with concerns to open up. This will be on the SU roof, weather depending, otherwise find them in the Little Room between 11am and 4pm.

NurSoc said: “As a Nursing Society, we feel it is important to open up conversation about mental illness. The committee are all 2nd and 3rd year Mental Health Nursing students and therefore want to work towards ending the stigma that surrounds mental illness and suicide thoughts/ideation.”

This year, the World Health Organisation recognised death by suicide as an issue, not just affecting developed countries, but as a global health problem. Everyone can take part in the ‘40 seconds of action’ campaign in whichever way suits them, whether it be private, by initiating that crucial conversation of ‘how are you?’ or public, for example by posting a video for local or national authorities to take action on this issue.

Find out more about the ’40 seconds of action’ campaign here