Jia Zhe Su explains why you should attend UCL’s Mental Health Awareness Day on 11th February 2017.
For many students, February reading week is one of the most stressful periods in the academic year, second only to the panic-fuelled revision crunch time that dominates the Easter break.
Most, if not all, of us are no strangers to feeling some form of stress in the face of looming deadlines and imminent exams, but how many of us think about the often overlooked interplay between stress and our own mental health? How much do we even know about mental health?
What Do You Think? is a day-long event, taking place at the UCL Institute of Education on Saturday 11th February, aiming to open up discussion and get us talking about mental health, not just within the confines of an event venue but in our own social circles and families.
As the name implies, it encourages discussion about the things we think we know about mental health, and why these are the perceptions that tend to eclipse all others. The day will kick off with a silent disco in Russell Square – a mindfulness rave, if you will – to set the tone before the main event. Guest speakers have been invited to give a series of talks from a breadth of different perspectives. Some will draw on experiences from living with their own mental health or that of their loved ones, while medical professionals will speak from experience of studying mental illness for many years.
Actors, writers, journalists and clinical psychiatrists will come together to show that mental health can mean something different to each and every one of us, and that no one opinion is more valid than another.
In addition to talks, attendees can also get involved in workshops and discussion groups. If a talk on ADHD doesn’t appeal, perhaps a creative writing class will suit you better, or if you need some new coping strategies to deal with stress, try your hand at yoga or mindful origami.
If you enjoy a good discussion, drop in on one of our groups which will tackle subjects such as the influence of relationships and sexual identity on mental health, or how portrayals of mental health in popular media and culture can shape public opinion for generations. Rest easy knowing you’ll have full liberty in choosing which activities you’d most like to take part in.
This event is completely free, and tickets are available to reserve online here, as well as sign-ups to workshops closer to the event. Follow our Facebook event page for announcements, speaker profiles, and any further updates regarding the event.
Let’s talk about mental health, and how it affects society, other people, and ourselves. What do you think?