Student mental health takes its place in the spotlight as several organizations, including My Mind Matters Too and KCL’s Think Mental, hold events to celebrate this year’s World Mental Health Day and it’s theme – suicide.
“I think within our generation, particularly in the last five years, mental health has certainly become a more serious issue and actually been accepted as one by a majority of people.” Meg Zeenat Wamithi, founder and CEO of mental health organization My Mind Matters Too and third-year PPE student at King’s tells Roar.
My Mind Matters Too is a youth-led organisation that supports 16-24-year-olds as they transition from school to university and employment. On October 10, they held an event at Bush House from their series “Stripped Back” where they discuss mental health openly. Speaker Mark Harris shared a personal story of grief and growth as he told the crowd how his view of mental health has been shaped by having a younger brother who struggled with depression and was eventually lost to suicide.
“I think we can learn and demonstrate genuine empathy whilst listening to people’s real, lived experiences. For instance, even though I have experienced my own challenges with suicidal thoughts and idealisations, listening to Mark speak put so much into perspective for me. I could really feel what my family must have been going through,” Miss Wamithi reflects.
KCL’s Think Mental also held an event on October 10, which was World Mental Health Day, featuring a creativity zone, an interactive exhibition and an informational tent on this year’s theme of suicide.
“The main thing I hope our community take away from our events is a real understanding of mental health from an individual’s point of view. And by understanding this, being able to think about their own.”
“[I hope] they feel empowered to open up and share more, but also that they are more proactive when they leave our events. Within their friendship circles, within their schools, within their universities, workplaces, and within their homes,” Wimithi says.