Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event which started 21 years ago. It’s an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health – something that we’ve all become more focused on over the past year. The event has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.
The theme for this year’s MHAW is ‘nature’– which seems somehow fitting as we emerge from a year of regular walks, pottering about in our gardens and generally reconnecting with Mother Nature and our environments. Perhaps we are all now a bit more aware of the simple delights of the outdoors, whether that be birdsong, the blossoming of the trees, the lighter days (and, hopefully, the better weather!) Nature, and the ‘outdoors’, can really benefit our general mental well-being and this has never been more important than during the pandemic.
In a year where, possibly, mental health awareness is at its most prevalent, Activate Learning are supporting this event by offering our staff and students a whole host of activities and tools to help manage their own mental well-being.
From on-campus activities to virtual workshops, online courses, blogs, videos and quizzes – there’s lots to explore and discover throughout the week, both on this page and, if you are a current student or member of staff, from the link below which will take you to the Activate Learning Online page.
Chloe Mann, Students’ Union President for Merrist Wood College talks openly about her mental health experiences
“I’ve always had really bad mental health. When I started senior school, I found it difficult to make friends.
I was bullied for being gay and having gay parents and being larger than everyone else. I tried really hard with my studies I just couldn’t concentrate since I had problems at home as well as everything going on in my head.
The college I went to after school was even worse, I tried to make myself do incredibly well at my assignments and I had to sacrifice my mental health for that. I got into some really dark places and was planning things I’m not proud of.
I met some pretty bad people and I’m still recovering from that, but since coming to Merrist Wood College it’s been a whole different kind of experience. I still struggle with my mental health but I’m on better medication and I’ve got the most incredible friends I could ever ask for – they mean the world to me, and they help me remind myself that I’m not alone and I am a good person even despite what my head tells me sometimes.
It’s so important to always seek help when you’re feeling low. There is great support here at college and the loveliest people who always sit down with you – sometimes all you need is just a chat. There is always someone there to listen – always know that you’re very important and no matter what you do, you deserve to feel supported and valued.”
Some more useful information
How to be a good friend to someone struggling with mental health issues
Being in nature is great for your mental health