Looking at the evidence that there will be 262 million higher education students in the world by 2025 (University World News, 2014) and one in four higher education students currently suffers from mental health problems (YouGov, 2016), there is no better time than now to raise awareness of mental health in higher education. Read more

Many conferences which purport to tackle student mental health issues are more concerned with making money than helping those in higher education.

A few days ago, I was invited to speak about my campaign to Raise Awareness of Mental Health in Higher Education (RAMHHE) at the ProudToBeDifferent conference at Middlesex University. This was a free conference and it was well attended by staff members, students, mental health service providers and NHS professionals.

I was amazed at how many students attended the conference and it reminded me of the 2017 RAMHHE conference which had similar numbers of students in attendance.

 "I'm fine."  How many times a day do you come across this? Whether you say it yourself, think about it or hear it elsewhere, being "fine" simply isn't cutting it these days. In an evermore bustling world, people seem to have less and less time; becoming busier than ever. The clocks don't tick-tockock faster. There are still 24 hours in a day. And yet, with a booming population it is ironic that we, as humans, are communicating less and less with one another.  That, fundamentally, is a serious problem.  

Around 5 years ago in my first year of university I took a paracetamol overdose after a night out with my friends. I went to the toilets in the halls that I lived in and took around 40 paracetamols. I was already pretty drunk at this point. I didn't really feel anything, took myself to bed and woke up incredibly late the next day. I was vomiting violently and couldn't really move. My boyfriend at the time took me to A and E. Where I quickly realised how serious what I had done was.

There are new efforts to improve and expand university mental health serverices.

In these uncertain and anxiety-provoking times, our universities have an increased responsibility to support student mental health and wellbeing. This is not about the issues of "spoiled and coddled" Gen Xers, helicopter parents, and the endless debates over the use of trigger warnings in higher education. This is about having a positive impact on not only our future workforce, but also our future leaders and change agents.