“The aim of University Mental Health Day 2018 is to empower all members of the university community to be active in supporting student mental health”.

It’s a campaign we should all support. A range of mental health issues develop in our mid-20s – the peak age for young adults attending university.  For most, these years are the first time away from the support of the family network and community, which can be a major risk factor for their mental health and wellbeing.  It’s a sad fact that in England alone, 19% of 16-24 year olds’ have experienced conditions associated with mental health:-

  • Clinical levels of psychological distress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Substance use and personality disorders

There is now a greater demand for Universities to have counselling and disability services available.  UHMAN (University Mental Health Advisers Network) is a national Charity working to raise awareness of how students can talk to their universities about mental health issues and encourages students to seek support.

So if you are a Manager, Why does it matter to you?

  • Organisations will have to step up their game, raise awareness in the workplace and have policies and support networks in place if they are to attract the top talent
  • Raising awareness at education level can have a positive impact on wellbeing – this is key for transitioning into the workplace.
  • Creating a culture where future staff, students and trainees, can comfortably raise mental health issues and feel supported has clear benefits for business and education.
  • Graduates (your future workforce) will be coming into the workplace better informed, not prejudiced about raising mental health issues. They may well expect a support network and it will be something they look for in an organisation when job hunting.
  • They will be looking to work for an organisation with a strong and supportive culture and values.

And one final thought…

Are you doing enough to understand and support the above?  Do you truly understand your organisation and all of its different constituents? Can stakeholders candidly contact you?