Mental Health Awareness Week 2021
Posted 13 May 2021This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year, it’s arguably more important than ever.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year, it’s arguably more important than ever. Lockdown has had a huge impact on us all, and looking after each other and prioritising our mental health has never been more important.
Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time, any day of the year, but this week is a great time to start looking after yourself and your own wellbeing, as well as showing support for better mental health.
This year the theme is nature, and how we can reconnect with nature to improve our mental health. There’s a lot of good research to support the role nature can play in protecting and supporting our mental health.
According to mental health charity, Mind, spending time in nature can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. For example, doing things like growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors or being around animals can have lots of positive effects. It can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress, improve your physical health as well as helping you to relax.
A walk in the Wolds
Millington Wood, based in the East Riding of Yorkshire is particularly easy to access, and to park at if you want to immerse yourself properly in nature. Be prepared to be a bit puffed out though, as those rolling hills are steeper than they look!
Humber Bridge Country Park
The Country Park is a 48 acre wood with open meadows and wildlife ponds as well as numerous trails and walks to explore. It’s easily accessible, with step free entrances and plenty of parking.
City Centre Walk
If you fancy just getting out and about and exploring the city centre, there is plenty to see and do around Hull. The iconic Fish Trail is a must-do for any Hull resident, so if you’ve got a couple of hours to spare, this walk will see you take in everything from the big landmarks to peculiar back alleys you may have otherwise missed.
By The Seaside
We’re lucky to have some gorgeous beaches near us including Hornsea and Flamborough as well as the seaside resort of Bridlington. Who doesn’t love eating a portion of chips while the North Sea breeze wraps around you?!
This may be a little outside of Hull, but is most certainly worth it. The lush green pastures are great to walk on, and if you fancy a little exploring the Westwood is home to Burton Bushes, an ancient oak forest.
Tips for a better mental wellbeing
What is mental wellbeing? It can mean lots of different things like how we’re dealing with daily life or how we’re coping at the moment.
Having a good mental wellbeing doesn't mean that you're happy all the time or unaffected by your experiences, but poor mental wellbeing can make it more difficult to cope with daily life.
Make time to relax, whether this is going for a walk, going to the gym or simply taking a long bath. Just make some time in your day for a relaxation activity that you enjoy.
Take a break
It’s okay if you’re feeling overwhelmed - we all do at times. Try to take some time and shift your focus on to something else as a change of scenery can help reduce those overwhelmed feelings.
Connect with others
Get involved! Find your tribe, start a campaign, attend our one off GIAG events, be part of the student voice, there is so much on offer through HUSU. Connecting with others can help us have a greater sense of belonging and reduce feelings of loneliness.
Using your time to help others in your community can give you a greater sense of purpose and just like joining a sports club or society, volunteering is a great way of making friends with similar interests. Feeling part of a volunteering community is a wonderful benefit that enriches your student experience - take a look at all the volunteering opportunities HUSU has to offer here.
It might seem obvious, but a good night’s sleep will do wonders for your physical and mental health. Check out the NHS guide to sleep and some tips for getting a good kip here.
If you're struggling, you don’t have to do it alone. The HUSU and the University are here to help you to access a wide range of support, both on and off campus. For any mental health concerns, take a look at the useful contacts below.
UNIVERSITY OF HULL
If you're struggling or are worried about someone else, you can request support here.
SURVIVE AND THRIVE
Survive and Thrive is a wellbeing learning programme which has been designed specifically for students at the University of Hull. The aim of this program is to help you develop a whole range of skills, knowledge and techniques which will not only enhance your mental and emotional wellbeing and your learning, but also your enjoyment of university life and your future employability. Access the Survive and Thrive module here.
Formerly ‘Big White Wall’, Togetherall is a safe online community to support your mental health 24/7.
Student Space is an online community run by Student Minds; it’s full of useful resources for studying and looking after your mental health during Covid-19.
THE BLURT FOUNDATION
The Blurt Foundation is a fantastic organisation which aims to raise awareness and increase understanding of mental illness, particularly depression, and support those struggling. They have lots of useful blogs and FREE self-help resources, which can be found here.
Let’s Talk Hull is a service that can help support you with depression, low mood, worry, anxiety and panic. The support they can offer includes counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Stress Control workshops. You can contact Let’s Talk here or call them on 01482 247111.
Samaritans provide support to anyone experiencing emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide. The service is free, confidential, and available 24/7. To speak to someone from Samaritans telephone 116 123.
Shout is a 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Contact Shout by texting 85258
MENTAL HEALTH RAPID RESPONSE SERVICE
The NHS's Mental Health Response Service is an urgent service for people living in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire who are experiencing severe and enduring mental health problems, or an acute mental health crisis. To access the service, call 01482 301701.
HULL & EAST YORKSHIRE MIND
Hull & East Yorkshire Mind offers practical guidance on managing mental health and wellbeing whilst away from home and at university. Visit Hull and East Yorkshire Mind here.