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World Mental Health Day

Monday, 10 October 2016,
10:00 to 15:00
Meet in Foyer, Waterfront Building, Ipswich

The Mental Health Foundation statistics tell us that 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health illness in any given year but anecdotal evidence suggests that the actual figure is higher as many of those suffering do not access help.  Also, depression has been recorded as the 2nd leading cause of disability in the UK.

People are experiencing crises all around us every day, from losing a loved one, going through a stressful situation at work, or experiencing a serious physical illness.

As well as this sadly there are people experiencing abuse and/or violence, all of which increase stress and the likelihood of developing mental health problems. It is important to provide the right support when people experience the stress of traumatic events, both in the global context and on an individual level.

The principle of first aid is that any of us may need to step in to help someone needing support, and it is no different for those experiencing with mental health issues.  The reality is that we may have to intervene when someone is finding it difficult to cope and it may be that we have to guide them to seeking professional help.  If as a community, we can come together and build our confidence to do this with the people we are close to, our family, friends and colleagues, then we can make a real and meaningful difference.

Proposed activities:

The Department of Nursing studies and the Paramedic Science Team of the University will be supporting World Mental Health Day 2016.  This year our “Mental Health First Aid” campaign will aim to highlight the signs and symptoms of common mental health, as well as focusing on ways to help ourselves and others. These activities will be supported by other departments within the University including Student Services,  working alongside external organisations such as the Suffolk Well-being Service, Suffolk Family Carers, SOBS and ActivLives.

We are planning to host a drop-in event to improve awareness around mental illness which we hope will go some way towards help to reducing the stigma associated with the mental health issues.

The event will take place in The Waterfront Foyer between 10.00am–3.00pm on Monday 10 October and will be open to the public, students and staff.

There will be information stands in the foyer which will be manned by staff from Student Services and Mental Health students. Those who attend will be invited to have a 10 minute conversation with professionally qualified staff to discuss any mental illness.  Tea and coffee will be available.

The benefits of gardening and being outdoors to support mental health and wellbeing will be promoted, and local community group ActivLives will be selling plants which they grow on the Ipswich Community Garden.

A range of workshops will also be open to all:

10.15-11.00am - "BoPo"An introduction to an alternative view on body image  “The Body Positive Movement is a feminist movement originating in the US that encourages people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall mental and physical health and well-being. Whether people are nurturing their bodies and maintaining their weight, or finding a place in life where they are comfortable. Increasingly body dissatisfaction has become a much more prevalent problem in men and young boys. Although exposure to media content is what may launch the body image process for women, endorsements featuring the muscular ideal makes men selectively exposed to certain content within the media.”

11.00am-12.00pm - Stress Management and Relaxation (Suffolk Wellbeing Service) focusing on the breathe whilst  reading out a calming your mind exercise.

12.00-1.00pm - Life post-suicide (family/carers perspective including a personal testimonial followed by how survivors by bereavement of suicide have helped them and the work the  charity provides to survivors and the work we do around language and working with first on the scene and stakeholders.

1.15-2.15pm - Self-esteem workshop-  The session will give an understanding of self-esteem and how to build it by offering tips on assertiveness, boundaries and positive internal dialogue.

The drop-in event is open to all, and individuals wishing to attend one of the workshops should speak to a member of staff or Student Services 10 minutes before the start time and they will be escorted the designated room.

Student Services will also be running a “People Walker” session after work for members of the public. Those wishing to join in the Ipswich premiere of this event should meet at the Question Mark outside the Waterfront Building at 6.00pm. Information on the inspiration behind this idea can be found at