Blue Monday: Charlie Waller Memorial Trust launches new student mental health guide

Charity launches new guide to help students who are struggling with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression

Just in time for Blue Monday, the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a charity working to equip young people with the skills to look after their mental wellbeing, has launched a new resource to support students experiencing mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.

The new guide, which is available to download for free*, contains a range of helpful advice, including what students can do if they are finding it hard to concentrate or are having trouble sleeping, and helps them to recognise potential symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Our charity’s mission is to equip young people with the tools they need to take care of their mental health – Clare Stafford, CEO

The resource emphasises that issues such as anxiety and depression are very common, and a key piece of advice is for students to be open about how they are feeling and talk about their problems.

The guide also contains advice and encouragement for students to access support services through their GPs and through their college or university.

It complements studentsagainstdepression.org – a comprehensive mental health website for students funded by the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.

Run for wellbeing

The launch of the resource forms part of the charity’s #RunForWellbeing initiative, which recognises the growing evidence showcasing the benefits of exercise for mental wellbeing, and promotes regular exercise to help improve mental wellbeing.

This is a key theme that runs throughout the new guide, which encourages students to take the time to get fresh air and to exercise every day, to help support sleep and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust’s #RunForWellbeing initiative aims to raise awareness and create a conversation around exercise and wellbeing by asking people to share personal stories on social media of how exercise has helped them with their mental health, using the #RunForWellbeing hashtag.

RunForWellbeing initiative aims to raise awareness and create a conversation around exercise and wellbeing

Clare Stafford, CEO, Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, comments: “Looking after our mental wellbeing is more important than ever before, and days like Blue Monday are a good opportunity to prioritise conversations around mental health. We are increasingly receiving reports of students struggling with their mental health, particularly at this time of year, and it’s crucial that they are able to access the support they need.

“Our charity’s mission is to equip young people with the tools they need to take care of their mental health, and to encourage them to seek help if they are depressed or experiencing other mental health issues. With the launch of our new resource for students, we hope to highlight that mental health issues are very common in this demographic, while offering practical, effective support.”

Identifying students who are struggling

The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust trains and educates parents, teachers, and college and university staff to identify when a young person might be struggling and to offer the necessary first line support. The charity works with a network of over 40 highly skilled mental health trainers, who deliver training across the UK on a daily basis.

Clare Stafford continues: “We understand that if you’re depressed, it can be really difficult to get active, but we want to encourage students to consider that, whatever the choice of exercise – running, swimming, dancing, football, yoga, walking – physical activity can be really good for your mental health. Even a 20-minute walk outside can have a really positive effect, and the important thing to remember is to speak to someone if you’re experiencing these common struggles.”

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is a national charity partner for the Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon 2020, and has a team of 50 runners who are fundraising for the charity, while championing the #RunForWellbeing initiative. More information on fundraising for the charity can be found here:  www.cwmt.org.uk/cambridge-half-marathon-2020


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