From February 22nd– 28th, Queen’s University Belfast is marking Eating Disorder Awareness week. In the first QR Spotlight of 2016, Queen’s Radio looks at QUB Mind Your Mood – the student-led campaign championing programmes that tackle mental health issues in students.
University is stressful. I know it. You know it. I’m pretty sure after the latest of our many frenzied phone calls that even our parents know it too. But while some students may take such stress in their stride, for others, sometimes stress can be unmanageable and can lead to wider mental health issues. It is important, however, to know that you’re not alone.
Founded in 2013, QUB Mind Your Mood works towards raising greater awareness of mental illnesses and providing support for students in need. Currently reaching more than 2,500 students at Queen’s University Belfast, QUB Mind Your Mood works alongside Aware NI and other local charities to offer a number of student-focussed workshops: from ‘Mood Matters’ and ‘Live Life To The Full’; to subject specific workshops, including those tackling eating disorders.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s “Love Your Self Fashion Show”, Mind Your Mood members Colette Lydon and Robyn McCue explained the importance of this event as part of Eating Disorder Awareness Week. ‘[It’s] to try and make people embrace body positivity…’, Colette told QR, ‘…we have a range of different models; male and female; all different ages; and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I know I’m excited – I’m a model in it and so is Robyn!’. Tickets for the fashion show are priced at £15 and can be reserved by contacting Mind Your Mood via Facebook, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or simply by paying at the door, with all proceeds going towards funding Mind Your Mood’s various mental health workshops.
As well as this fantastic event, two very special discussion panels shall also be taking place after the conclusion of the fashion show: ‘Our first panel is going to be some speakers from charities and organisations that work with eating disorders…’, Robyn revealed, ‘…and our second panel is going to be a little bit more along the side of “personal stories” and stuff like that…’.
Listen to Robyn and Colette discussing QUB Mind Your Mood at Queens’ Radio’s “Society Day” below!
In a 2013 survey of 1,200 higher education students, the National Union of Students (NUS) found that a shocking 20% of respondents considered themselves to have a mental health problem, with 13% of respondents admitting to having experienced suicidal thoughts. Student mental health is an issue that needs to be addressed, but it is not something that any student should feel embarrassed about or ashamed of, as Colette states, ‘…definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help. Go to your GP and ask, they’re really supportive, especially the Queen’s GP which is right beside our university. I know that’s where I went whenever I had problems in first year … they were really supportive’.
QUB Mind Your Mood and the various other services at Queen’s University Belfast are open to all staff and students, whether it is offering advice on how to manage mental health issues, or simply listening to any problems which you may be having. We all need someone to talk to about our problems, so why not start now?
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