Mental Health Awareness Week, co-ordinated by leading UK charity the Mental Health Foundation, begins today. This year it involves hundreds of online events to shine a spotlight on and fundraise for mental health causes.
Middlesex University has a strong commitment to promoting good mental health and providing care and resources to members of the university community experiencing mental health challenges of all kinds.
MDX is holding a number of virtual events over the coming days, including coffee breaks, yoga, fitness workouts and staff development, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.
During the COVID-19 crisis, MDX has commissioned an online service called the Big White Wall offering round-the-clock support for staff and students to help manage their wellbeing.
MDX staff and students have completely free anonymous access to the Big White Wall, which helps people with anxiety and depression, as well as other mental health related issues.
The platform, which is monitored by trained professionals, has 24/7 peer-to-peer support, a wide range of mental health resources including guided self-help courses and a moderated forum.
Nic Beech, Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University, said: “Big White Wall is here to support staff and students experiencing any stress, whether it is COVID-19 related, work related, if you are struggling to sleep or simply need someone to talk to.
“You can talk and get things off your chest in anonymous global community, express yourself creatively, and access a library of self-care resources, including clinical tests, tips and guided group courses with topics ranging from managing stress and anxiety to giving up smoking.
“Big White Wall can help you with adopting useful coping strategies and behaviours.”
To access the online service go to www.bigwhitewall.com and sign up under ‘organisation’ with your MDX e-mail address – you will remain anonymous.
The Middlesex University Psychology Department has shared guidance and a number of resources in an email to all students which is grounded in psychological research, theory and clinical practice.
The guidance offers advice around how much time to spend on social media and following the news and how it is crucial that we find ways (phone, Skype/Zoom, WhatsApp, email, social media) to keep in regular contact with the people that are most important to us.
Students are also encouraged to keep active with some form of exercise to boost their psychological wellbeing and immune system.
Dr David Westley, Head of the Psychology Department, wrote: “While the present situation is serious, it is important to try and balance out the range of things to which we pay attention.
“Finding time to retain a focus on our goals and sense of purpose in life allows us to hold onto hope in trying times.
“Make time for activities that you find engaging, meaningful, rewarding and/or entertaining.
“Remember: this too shall pass.”
Learn more about Psychology at Middlesex.