What is Mental Health Awareness Week?

Mental Health Awareness Week happens every year, and it's the biggest opportunity for the whole of the UK to come together to focus on getting good mental health. The week aims to tackle stigma and help people understand and prioritise their and others' mental health. By raising awareness and reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and seeking treatment, this makes it much easier for people to seek the help they need. Without treatment, mental health disorders can reach a crisis point. As the World Health Organization states, “there is no health without mental health.”

 

Did you know... ?

- In 2022/23, an average of 37.1% of women and 29.9% of men reported high levels of anxiety

- One adult in six has a common mental disorder

- 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24

- In the past year, 1 in 2 people from the LGBTQIA+ community have experienced depression, and 3 in 5 have experienced anxiety

We all have a part to play in making people feel able to come forward with mental health struggles to their friends, family, colleagues or doctors without feeling shame or judgement. Let's all commit to helping fight the stigma around negative mental health and making it an easier topic for people to bring up!

 

What is the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year?

The theme for 2024 is 'Movement: Moving more for our mental health.' This is to encourage people to move their bodies in different ways and how even small amounts of exercise can help improve negative mental health. Below we will list some things you could do to incorporate some extra movement into your daily routine.

  • Going for a walk (big or small) 
  • Putting music on and dancing around your living room
  • Cycling to work
  • Chair exercises when you're watching TV
  • Wall exercises whilst brushing your teeth

 

What are we doing to promote Mental Health Awareness Week?

Here at Edinburgh College Students' Association, we love to promote self care - which we have been doing a lot of this year. So, for Mental Health Awareness Week, we are running a stall at Milton Road to get an idea of how students' mental health is at the moment, and give some resources out to help students fit more self care into their daily routine, this is especially important right now with the stresses of exam time approaching. But what exactly is self care? Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact. Below are some of the best forms of self care, which can make big improvements to your mental health.

Eat regular, healthy meals and stay hydrated - aim to drink 3 litres of water a day.

Make sleep a priority - aim for around 8 hours a night.

Set goals and priorities - write these down to keep track of progress.

Practice meditation and journaling your thoughts and things you are grateful for - Having some time to focus on your breathing and your thoughts is a great way to look after you!

Stay connected - prioritise regular time with family and friends - but limit time on social media!

Make YOU time - make time for hobbies (or try a new one!), have some time relaxing in a bath, put on a face mask, listen to music, read a book, whatever makes you happy! 

 

Our Mental Health Check-in stall will be running at Milton Rd Campus on Tuesday 14th May between 12 - 2pm.

Student Mental Health Agreement

Over the past year, we've been working with the College and NUS' Think Positive! campaign to create a brand new Student Mental Health Agreement, which will guide all of our mental health and wellbeing work with students between now and June 2026. During our pop up stall at Milton Road, Skye Marriner, Student President, and Anna Vogt, Assistant Principal Student Experience, met to officially launch the Agreement.

You can explore our Five Pledges which summarise the main areas we'll be focusing on in our work to improve students' Mental Health and Wellbeing over the next two years.

Hub of Hope

The Hub of Hope is the world’s first of its kind mental health database bringing grassroots and national mental health services together in one place for the first time ever. Using the location of web browser or mobile devices, the cloud-based web application allows anyone, anywhere to find the nearest source of support for any mental health issue, from depression and anxiety to PTSD and suicidal thoughts, as well as providing a ‘talk now’ button connecting users directly to the Samaritans.

Breathing Space

Breathing Space are a free, confidential, phone service for anyone in Scotland over the age of 16 experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety.

Edspace

EdSpace to signpost people to appropriate mental health services in Edinburgh, enable people to make informed choices in their treatment and care, inform people of factors influencing positive mental health and wellbeing, and enable people to access services and information which may be of benefit to them or someone they support.

Edinburgh Crisis Centre

The Crisis Centre is open 24 hours a day 365 days of the year and provides community based, emotional and practical support at times of crisis. It is a service for people who are aged 16 and over who are using or have used mental health services and are resident in the City of Edinburgh when they are facing a crisis.

Saheliya

Saheliya supports and promotes the positive mental health and well-being of black, minority ethnic, asylum seeker, refugee and migrant women and girls (12+) in the Edinburgh and Glasgow area.

Abused Men in Scotland

AMIS supports men across Scotland who have or are experiencing domestic abuse. They do not judge, but they do offer practical information, guidance and casework.

Penumbra

Penumbra is one of Scotland’s largest mental health charities. They work to promote mental health and wellbeing for all, prevent mental ill health for people who are ‘at risk’, and to support people with mental health problems.

Support In Mind

Support in Mind aims to improve the quality of life for anyone whose mental health problems or mental illness has a serious impact on their life and on the lives of others, including family members, friends and supporters.

NightLine

Nightline is a student listening service which is open at night and run by students for students.

SamH

SAMH is Scotland’s national mental health charity. They work in over 60 communities with adults and young people, providing mental health social care support and services.

Health In Mind

Health in Mind promote positive mental health and wellbeing, and provide a wide range of services and courses to support people and enable them to make a positive difference in their lives.  

Perfect Solutions

Perfect Solutions offers coaching and counselling for anxiety, emotions and trauma.

Samaritans

Samaritans is a unique charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide.

Andy's Man Club

Andy's Man Club are real, non judgmental, talking groups for men. Their aim is to halve the number of suicides in men under 45.

Beat Adult Helpline

Clear Your Head

The Scottish Government's national mental health campaign to help support people throughout the country during the pandemic. There are tips and ideas for how oyu can clear your head as well as links to places you can go to for more formal support and advice

Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland

Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland (CBCS) exists to promote the well-being of bereaved people in Scotland. They seek to help anyone experiencing bereavement to understand their grief and cope with their loss. They work primarily through volunteers, providing free care to bereaved people. 

Edinburgh Crisis Centre

The Crisis Centre is open 24 hours a day 365 days of the year and provides community based, emotional and practical support at times of crisis. It is a service for people who are aged 16 and over who are using or have used mental health services and are resident in the City of Edinburgh when they are facing a crisis.

The Ampersand Project

The Ampersand Project is an Edinburgh-based non-profit social enterprise working on a local, national, and international level to improve the mental wellbeing of young adults, with a specific focus on university and college students.