** Blog updated 26th February 2019**
This year’s University Mental Health day is all about the power of using your voice. We all have mental health, we all have stories to share and we can all use our voices to shape the future of student mental health. Join UMHD19 on Thursday 7th of March 2019 as they inspire conversations, take action and create change!
A range of mental health issues develop in our mid-20s – the peak age for young adults attending university, where academic, social and financial pressures can have a huge impact on mental health and wellbeing. For most, these years are the first time away from the support of the family network and community. It’s a sad fact that in England alone, 19% of 16-24 year olds’ have experienced conditions associated with mental health issues. There are over 2.3 million students studying in UK universities, tragically many students end up leaving university or worse. Some of the mental health and wellbeing challenges our students are facing and want to raise awareness of are:
- Clinical levels of psychological distress
- Substance use and personality disorders
- Bullying & sexual harassment
There is now a greater demand for Universities to have counselling and disability services available, and they have seen an increase in numbers of students who are accessing support services. 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 and influence a change in the culture.
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 mental health and 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 strong and supportive culture and values, with employee involvement at the forefront.
The power of voice is something we are very passionate about here at WorkInConfidence. We support staff within organisations to speak up and inspire conversations , to create change and strive for a better workplace culture. With clients in healthcare, finance, legal, banking, retail and other sectors, we have the experience, proven technology and understand how to improve employee engagement and trust. How is your speaking up culture? 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?