Mental health is widely regarded as being one of the most pressing issues of modern day society, yet arguably there remains a shroud of stigma around anyone seeking help.
According to a 2016 YouGov survey, over one-quarter of students report having a mental health condition, suggestive of the enormity of the problem at hand.
Since 2013, on the 10th of October every year, the World Health Organisation has promoted World Mental Health Day internationally. The day aims to normalise mental health issues, start conversations and highlight the importance of acceptance amongst the global community.
After the success of last year’s events, current Wellbeing Officer Saqib Mahmood has organised a day of activities in celebration of World Mental Health Day 2017 (Tuesday the 1oth of October).
Speaking to The Mancunion, he said: “We plan to make this day more engaging, exciting and enjoyable than ever. This year looks promising on tackling the negative stigma surrounding mental health and gaining access to the services when one is in need of help.”
The day will begin with a free tea and coffee morning in the SU Council Chambers, allowing students to start the day relaxed and refreshed. From 11 am until 4 pm, there will be a Mental Health Fair held next to University Place.
The fair will include student societies, the NUS Vice President of Welfare and staff members from the University’s well-being services.
One of the student groups getting involved in the day is Open Mind Manchester, a student-led mental health society and the President of the society, Nomaan Zubair was quick to praise World Mental Health Day.
Speaking to The Mancunion, he said: “I think WMHD is important as it brings something that isn’t widely discussed [in] the mainstream. Days like WMHD help us to realise that it’s okay not to be okay sometimes and that the fight against mental health is everyone’s fight.”
The day will be rounded off with a ‘Liberate My Mind Panel’ which aims to bring to light the mental health issues of minority groups. This includes LGBTQ+, BME, and faith groups, all who face marginalisation and increased stigmatisation when it comes to mental health.