Yesterday, Sheffield Hallam University and the Student’s Union came together to sign MIND’s Time to Change pledge, a national programme aiming to end mental health stigma and discrimination.
By signing the pledge, both the University and the Student’s Union have promised to carry out a Time to Change health check to make sure that the mental health needs of staff and students alike are being met.
Emmett Cleaver, Sheffield Hallam’s Community and Welfare Officer, said; “Change can’t happen overnight; this is something that is ongoing.”
“We also pledge to do a lot more stuff with our staff. Whilst this was a very student-facing thing for me with this pledge, we have staff that can also be affected by mental health.”
Sheffield Hallam plans to improve the accessibility of support services as well as introducing online mental health self-help materials for students.
Speaking to the event Emmet, who signed the union’s pledge alongside President Emily Connor, said; “As you know, social activity plays a big role in our mental wellbeing. We are looking to make sure that students know that.”
As part of the pledge, the university and student union will be joining forces to run Time to Change roadshow events on two occasions during the next academic year.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes, who signed the pledge, described it as an important initiative. “I think it is so hard to begin to understand [mental health issues] if you haven’t been there and we need to talk about it more and begin to understand.”
The signing was welcomed by many including NUS Vice-President (Welfare) Colum McGuire who said that it was great to see universities taking a step to change mental health.
“There’s the risk of isolation at university – that’s why it’s so important to do this work – to move forward to challenge the notion that seeking help is a weakness. To change the way we help students in need, and to create a new landscape for healthy campuses and healthy minds.”
[Originally published on: http://shu-media.co.uk/news/shu-pledges-to-end-mental-health-stigma-at-time-to-change-signing/]