Photo of flower, text: Mental Health Awareness Week, Nature, 10-16 May 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week

Join us to mark Mental Health Awareness Week

It's Mental Health Awareness Week from 10-16 May and this year's theme is 'Nature and the Environment'. We probably have all felt, especially over the last year with many restrictions in place, how important getting out into nature and appreciating the environment is for our mental health. This week aims to create a public discussion around the theme. Read more about what we're doing for Mental Health Awareness Week below and about the events organised by College here

Hack for Hope (and prizes!)

The Imperial College Union Mental Health Network is looking for ideas about how to create more opportunities for connection among students in a post-Covid world and we need YOUR help!

The pandemic has had a huge impact on young people’s mental health and one of the main reasons for this has been the inability to socialise with our peers. Throughout May, to coincide with mental health awareness week, we are asking for your ideas on how we can rebuild our student community and come back next year even stronger than before.

We are looking for ideas which fall into one of three broad categories:

  • The Forgotten First Year - How do we help this year’s freshers to meet new people and recreate Welcome Week 2020 in 2021? 
  • Crafting New Communities - What ideas have you got about how we create a stronger sense of community amongst students next year?
  • Ideas for inclusion - How do we make sure that everybody’s included, and diversity celebrated, as we move forward?

Submit your ideas here before 30 May here.

The best submissions could be implemented next year and winners will receive prizes including up to £100 in food or shopping vouchers, a picnic hamper or even a box of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to share with your mates!  

If you have a pound or two to spare, we would also really appreciate you making a small donation to our Captain Tom 100 challenge page to support their work in helping those most affected by COVID-19. 

Spotting signs and symptoms

Having conversations and supporting each other in a safe and informed way is crucial to mental health awareness in our community. Lauren Wheeler, our Mental Health Officer, shares how you can 'Spot it, say it, solve it' in this video below. 

Our top 5 tips for looking after your mental health:

1.      Aim to connect with at least one person each day - That could mean calling a family member, going on a walk with a friend or even just saying ‘good morning’ to a stranger.

2.      Try to make sure you’re getting enough sleep - It’s so critical for our mental health, helping us to see the bigger picture and think much more clearly. Everything looks brighter when we’ve had a good night’s sleep.

3.      Eat foods which make you feel good - Consuming a healthy diet has been proven to promote wellbeing improve symptoms of mental illness. However, it’s also important not to deny yourself the foods you enjoy.

4.      Get some form of exercise regularly - Yes it’s exam season and yes we’re all busy but you’d be amazed how much more productive you are after you’ve been for a short walk or run to clear your head. Try at least 30 minutes of fresh air everyday for a week and see how you feel.

5.      Take a time out - If you do start to feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a break! You could try 5 minutes of deep breathing, meditation, or listening to your favourite music.

Resources

  1. Here's a document put together by our Mental Health Officer with helpful books, apps, podcasts and websites to support you and answer any questions you might have. 

  2. Imperial College Student Counselling and Mental Health Advice Service.

  3. Get help from a mental health charity helpline

  4. Mental Health Awareness Week events from College 

  5. Mental Health - Signs and Symptoms (short animation put together by our Mental Health Officer, Lauren Wheeler)