From the 20th to the 24th of November, the University of Manchester will hold its annual Wellbeing Week.
During this week, a series of events are held across campus aimed at helping students and staff cope with stress and maintain their well-being, both mental and physical. All events are free to attend, and address the university’s six areas of well-being: connect, take notice, learn and discover, be healthy, be active, and give.
The week kicks off with on Monday with sunrise yoga, followed by a packed schedule of other activities, such as ‘Calm your brain and have a croissant’, ‘Bungee run bouncy castle’ and ‘softball’. Several of these events are repeated throughout the week, giving students ample opportunity to sample what they wish. Highlights of the week include free massages, a quidditch taster session and a highly anticipated visit from Manchester Dog’s Home.
Event coordinator Katrina M Grier told The Mancunion “Looking after our well-being helps us to support ourselves in everyday life. This year, well-being week has been designed to raise awareness of the six ways to well-being and to get people thinking about looking after themselves. There are a range of activities and all events are free, so come along and enjoy!”
Student well-being has become a major issue over the last few years. In a survey conducted by YouGov, 27 percent of students reported having a type of mental health problem, with 77 percent highlighting depression and 74 percent discussing anxiety.
The number of students dropping out of university citing their mental health as the reason has also risen. Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency shows these numbers were up 210 percent in 2014-15, from 380 in 2009-10 to 1,180 in 2014-15. Events during well-being week are tailored to help assist and encourage students to manage these problems in productive and creative ways, such as mindfulness, exercise and crafts.
The university are also holding a Staff Wellbeing Benefits Fair during the week. The fair is designed to demonstrate a number of the well-being benefits available to University of Manchester staff members. The university’s staff well-being lead, Sarah March, highlights the importance of well-being amongst those employed by the university on a dedicated well-being page on their website, stating “We want our colleagues not only work productively but also to enjoy working here and to lead happy, healthy lives.”
For more information on well-being week including timetables and event information, please visit http://www.studentsupport.manchester.ac.uk/taking-care/wellbeing/wellbeing-week/, or search ‘Wellbeing Week’ on Facebook.