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Student Minds

Our aim

By listening to the experiences of students, our aim is to create a campus whereby every student and staff member is equipped with meaningful knowledge of mental health difficulties, and strive to ensure that students’ feedback of the mental health services on campus reflects the level of quality and care they should be receiving.

Our objectives

  • Campaign for and listen to the views and experiences of those who experience mental illness(es). We need to ensure that there is constant student feedback from student MH experiences, including from their interactions with the SSU and Life centre. We must engage with students, and listen to a range of factors that come in to play with mental health, such as the students’ backgrounds, their identities and communities, eg. LGBT community.

  • Pursue a university culture whereby every single student and member of staff has appropriate knowledge on mental health and illnesses, ensuring that no student of ill mental health experiences isolation, loneliness or shame as a result of their condition.

  • Strive to improve mental health services. Talking about mental health is important, but not enough. Too many students have found themselves subject to long waiting lists for counselling, disappointing interactions with staff from the Student Life Centre and general frustration with a lack of mental health support. We will do this through liaison with appropriate staff members eg the Student Life Centre or other appropriate contacts, which we will coordinate in time for September.

  • Generate a more meaningful mental health dialogue. Raising awareness is important, but not enough.

  • Increase the likelihood that men will reach out for support and strive to ensure no male student with mental illness(es) feels ashamed. Men do not seek help and support as much as women do, meaning we must reach out to different university communities and societies (eg sports teams) to address this

Campaign background

We are the Sussex arm of the national charity Student Minds

‘Student Minds (formerly Student Run Self Help) was started in 2009 following the success of our first student - led support group for students experiencing mental health difficulties at university. Having experienced her own mental health difficulties at university, Dr Nicola Byrom set up the organisation aiming to make it easier for students with an eating disorder to access support. The first groups, run by trained student volunteers, were founded on the principles that everyone deserves easy access to support, and that talking to others can really aid the recovery process.

In 2013, the charity re-branded as Student Minds and merged with Mental Wealth UK, a network of student-led campaign groups, helping students to become more aware of the importance of mental wellbeing and to encourage conversations about mental health.

Student Minds has grown significantly over the years, supporting students with a range of mental health difficulties and working with all members of the university community to promote positive wellbeing.’  https://www.studentminds.org.uk/whatwedo.html