Are you passionate about mental health? Do you want to be involved in student activity that helps decrease the stigma of mental health issues?
Then Warwick Mind Aware is the society to join!
Warwick Mind Aware is a society that creates campaigns for mental health issues to help raise awareness and decrease the stigma of mental health illnesses.
Members meet each week to discuss and plan upcoming campaigns and issues for which we want to raise awareness. These meetings are very informal so you can get involved in as much or as little as you like! Our campaigning meetings usually last an hour and involve discussion, research and art/craft.
If you would like to know more, join our Facebook campaigning group to stay informed with any news, updates, campaigns and anything else regarding the society.
Throughout the academic year, Mind Aware hold lots of different campaigns to raise awareness for particular mental health issues. The topic of each campaign is up to our members! Our campaign meetings are 4-5pm on Thursdays this year.
Here are some of Mind Aware's previous campaigns and events:
- Feel Good and Stress Less Event
- Suicide Prevention Session run by Papyrus
- Men's Mental Health Campaign
- Social Anxiety Campaign
- Misconceptions about Unknown Mental Health Disorders
- Talk by Mark Chandler, a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist
- Relaxation and ecotherapy session with the Allotment Society and Tocil Wood Conservation Project
- Talk by Steven Hill, the Assistant CEO at Coventry and Warwickshire Mind
- Mental Health in the Media Campaign
- Alcohol and its Effects on Mental Health Campaign
- A Series of Talks: Psychological Therapy, Psychosis and PTSD in the armed forces
- Discussion Panel on Clean Eating: Pure Plate or Damaging Disorder?
- Making Space Workshop with talks from 'experts-by-experience' in Mental Health
- Lecture Capture and Mental Health Campaign
- Christmas Survival Kit
- Homesickness Campaign
- Meditation with Warwick Buddhist Society
- and much more!!
Mental Health Awareness Week
One of the most important events that Mind Aware is involved with is Mental Health Awareness Week. During this week, which is generally Term 2, Week 7 of the academic year, different societies hold various events to help promote good wellbeing and to raise awareness for mental health issues. Mind Aware often have a range of activities going on each day throughout the week. This year we hope for Mental Health Awareness Week to be bigger and better with even more student involvement!
Aside from campaigning and raising awareness, Mind Aware also hold various socials throughout the year. We are a society that are not focussed on drinking or clubbing and so host a variety of socials so there is something for everyone. We hosted the university's first ever "Sober Circle" in November 2014 for a campaign aimed at reducing peer pressure to drink alcohol during society Circles.
Previously we have been out for a Christmas Dinner at Xananas, Bowling in Leamington, Time to Talk sessions in Terrace Bar, Lazer Quest, Curry Night at Millenium Balti, Board Game socials, and so on...
Our socials for this term include: coffee fridays, collabs with other societies, our refreshers mixer & a MHAW social!
Mind Aware Volunteers (formerly Warwick MedMinds) volunteer in secondary schools giving lessons on mental well-being to pupils.
In Term 1, volunteers will need to attend a 2-hour training session to go through the lesson plan. This will include interactive activities and games in order to engage the students, and enable them to talk more freely about mental health.
We will cover the main facts about several mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression and OCD. This is to help students recognise the symptoms and give them the confidence to seek support whenever necessary. The PowerPoint used will be pre-approved by professionals at Springfield Mind; ensuring that the information and advice we give out is accurate and sound.
In Term 2, groups of volunteers will deliver these lessons at local schools in Coventry and Leamington Spa. Each session is counted individually, so volunteers can sign up to as many or as few slots as they would like. As this is a Warwick Volunteers project, all of the hours spent preparing and delivering the lessons can be logged. Cost of transport to the schools can also be reimbursed by Warwick Volunteers.
DBS checks are not required for this project, but all volunteers must complete an online safeguarding training (lasting 1 hour).
Meet the Exec 2017/18
President: Megan Day – 3rd Year Psychology student
What does Mental Health mean to you?: I live for the day that mental health is treated in the same way as physical health: without stigma or fear. With a little hard work we can normalise mental illness so that saying you feel anxious/depressed is just as easy as saying you have a headache. Mental wellbeing is important for students especially! We should come together to help each other and make EVERYONE aware (not just those who have an interest in it)! Don’t be afraid to contact me if you have any questions about Mind Aware. Happy campaigning!?
Fun Fact!: I eat skittles in the same order every time: red, orange, yellow, green and then purple!
Vice President: Vicki Thurlby – 3rd Year Psychology Student
What does Mental Health mean to you?: Mental health is just as important as physical health, and everyone should look after their mental health as well as their physical health. Increasing awareness of mental health issues is vital, especially for students. I want to help to reduce the stigma so that it is more acceptable for people to talk about mental health. Mind Aware runs a huge variety of campaigns and events related to mental health. It has been so rewarding to be involved with such a worthwhile society this year, and I’m looking forward to continuing the fantastic work as Vice President.
Fun Fact!: I’ve never broken a bone.
Treasurer: Lily Zhang – 2nd Year Psychology Student
What does Mental Health mean to you?: For me, mental health is a big part of everyday life. Whether we realise it or not, every action and every thought contributes to our overall wellbeing. I think that it is so important to look after ourselves mentally and be compassionate to ourselves, since too often we are dismissive of any mental health issues we may encounter, often due to the stigma associated with all mental illnesses. I joined Mind Aware because I wish to encourage people (including myself!) to be able to talk more openly about mental health. I believe that the more we talk about it, the quicker we clear up any misconceptions that cloud people’s perceptions of mental disorders.
Fun Fact!: I can speak Shanghainese (the dialect spoken in Shanghai) more fluently than Mandarin ??
Secretary: David Brown – 4th Year Master of Mathematics Student
What does Mental Health mean to you?: Mental Health to me means being watchful of and supporting myself and my friends through daily life, even on the bad days, or just the days that are mediocre and it’s hard to do anything?.
Fun Fact!: My favourite ice breaker game is ‘If you were a biscuit, what kind of biscuit would you be?’ – you should try it some time?
Campaigns officer: Victoria Blanchard- 3rd Year Psychology Student
What does Mental Health mean to you?: Mental health is my passion and something i want to pursue as my career in the future. It is important to recognise how tough life can be for a person with a mental health condition. Such essential areas of life like interpersonal relationships, education and self perception can be affected on a daily basis. In my opinion it is really critical people are aware of the feelings those with a mental health condition are experiencing. I feel it is important that those people are supported, whether it is family or friends, they should receive help on how to effectively aid those with a mental health condition. It is a fact that mental health illnesses affect 1 in 4 people, yet there is still stigma and discrimination. With mind aware i want to make a difference for those affected by giving them confidence to talk about how they feel. I believe that no one deserves to be experiencing a mental health problem. Most importantly no one deserves to be going through the journey on their own.
Fun Fact!: I love butter and can eat it like cheese. Due to health precautions my friends are strictly not allowed to let me buy butter.
Media and Publicity Officer: Hannah Butler – 3rd year Psychology Student
What does Mental Health mean to you?: This aspect of your health is arguably the most important. Most physical health complaints can easily be treated. For some serious and long term physical health issues, sometimes the biggest difficulty is actually the mental struggle that comes with it. Yet mental health illnesses are still not treated or spoken about the same, would you tell someone with Cancer to just get over it? WHY do people still feel so uncomfortable talking about their mind? Its ok to struggle, its ok to not be ok, and it is ok to get help. We all need to educate ourselves on the signs and characteristics of mental illness. Not only could this help you, it may help you assist a loved one or friend. Ultimately it will also help to reduce stigma around mental illness.
Fun Fact!: Once i managed to dislocate and break my finger typing… and to this day i still don’t really understand how.
Social Secretary: Georgina Crothers- 2nd year French and Spanish Student
What does Mental Health mean to you?: Mental health issues affect us all to varying degrees at some point in our lives, and as university students, we bear the brunt of it. From academic insecurities, emotional development, and financial concern, it’s no wonder so many students suffer with ill mental health. It’s time we stopped neglecting our minds and put an end to the taboo surrounding the topic of mental health, which is why I want to be involved in raising awareness for a cause that pertains so widely to our demographic.
Fun Fact!: I am living proof that it is in fact possible to lick your elbow.