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Closing the gap in mental health awareness

October 17th, 2016 | by NUSU
Closing the gap in mental health awareness
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The university’s mental health society Mind The Gap was working last week to raise awareness for World Mental Health Day (October 10th) and OCD Awareness Week.On Monday, Mind The Gap ran a stall outside the Students’ Union handing free beverages, sweets and leaflets, which advised on mental health services. In addition, they also ran a discussion on Tuesday evening (October 11th) discussing the misconceptions surrounding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which affects1.2 out of 100 people in the UK. The society aims to involve the wider public in their events, reaching out to local schools, GPs and businesses with their events.

Talking about last week’s events, Mind The Gap’s president Andrew Lister said: “We had really good engagement from members of the public and students.

“And we had some really great volunteers, who really put their heart and soul into it so we’re really grateful to them.”

Mind The Gap is looking forward to its fourth annual conference that is due to take place in April 2017. The conference has been a consistent success over the years, with a variety of delegates hosting a series of interactive sessions to attend free of charge. The society will also be taking over the Students’ Union and hosting a series of talks and workshops on mental health run by students and invited guest speakers.

Campaigns officer Zoë Godden said: “It is important to have open and honest discussion about mental health as it can save lives. Having societies like Mind the Gap on campus ensure students with mental health problems are catered for and have a safe space to come together and raise awareness ”.

The actions of the Mind The Gap society have been echoed on a global level for this year’s World Mental Health Day. The World Health Organisation (WHO) ran their campaign along the theme of ‘psychological first aid’. WHO stated that the investment in ‘psychological first aid’ was an element of a much longer term effort to ensure the wider extension of care to those who need it. Particularly as even the most basic of support is often found to be considerably lacking in many places.

Along with Mind The Gap, Newcaslte University provides mental health and counselling through the Student Wellbeing Service. The service offers both face to face and online help.

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