Ulster University Mind Your Mood

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Ulster University

Mind Your Mood

Managed by Student Support, Mind Your Mood is designed and delivered by students who have lived experiences of mental health illness to help:

  • build resilience to avoid mental illness
  • provide support at the earliest point to avoid progression of mental illness to something more serious and threatening
  • build resilience and awareness and provide support to help students with already diagnosed mental illness

Mind Your Mood aims to:

  • Raise awareness
  • Improve mental wellbeing
  • De-stigmatise the topic of mental health

75%

of mental health issues develop before age of 25

62%

of students worry about their mental health

Less than 40%

of students know where to seek support

Why are we supporting Ulster University students' mental health?

At Ulster University, we want to help those students most at risk, so staff, students and graduates came together to raise funds for this programme. We are delighted to announce that over 2017 and 2018 our students, staff, alumni and friends helped to raise over £55,000 through participation of Belfast City Marathon, Four Campus Cycle of 100 miles, coffee mornings, football tournament, student nights and many more activities.

A recent survey found that 78% of students reported having had a mental health problem over the past year, and 33% had had suicidal thoughts.

Mind Your Mood, managed by Student Support, is an innovative student-led initiative which aims to raise awareness of mental health and provide interventions at the earliest stage of the development of mental illness.

Targeting men’s mental wellbeing

Just one example of how fundraising helped the team to diversify the programme in order to reach a wider audience, was a trial programme held with Ulster Sport’s GAA team. It is widely known that men can be particularly vulnerable to not accessing support for mental ill-health, and so targeting men to raise awareness is a key aim of Mind Your Mood. Uniquely, this was in a non-academic setting, and was part of a regular training session. Working in partnership with Gaelic Games Development Co-ordinator, Paul Rouse, training was tailored to demonstrate the key concepts of how students can maintain positive mental health for life. The major success of the pilot demonstrated the flexibility of how the Mind Your Mood message can be delivered to students.

“I thought it was a very beneficial exercise that the students benefited greatly from. It was interactive and a unique way to get the information across to students who may otherwise have been apprehensive.” Paul Rouse, Gaelic Games Development Co-ordinator

Terence O’Brien, a GAA player and final year marketing student, said:

“Given the significant increase in mental ill health in recent years and the fact that young men are increasingly affected, regardless of background, interests and life circumstances, I found the Mind Your Mood training really helpful. The fact that it was delivered as part of our normal training made it very accessible to those who may otherwise have been apprehensive and gave us ways we can help ourselves and each other. It gave us the opportunity to talk, in a relaxed and interactive way, about a subject that wouldn’t normally be discussed.”

Universities need to do more

The NUS (2015) reported that 8/10 students in UK universities experience some form of mental health issue, suggesting the need for universities to do more to support this emerging need.

NUS (2015)