Rising Up for Mental Health

This year, for World Mental Health Day, The Shack housed “Rise”, a collaborative event between The O2, Go Think Big, Mind, SMaRteN, the KCLSU and Strand Magazine’s charity, Strand Giving.

The event lasted from 4 to 10 pm and started off with a relaxed performances by the KLC DJ Society. The room was alight with fairy lights and the stage was decorated with plants.

Although the KCL Literary Society cancelled their performance, Strand magazine jumped in with a spoken poem, “Reminiscing,” by Seline Cornfield, a Strand magazine regular. The KCL Gospel Society also made an appearance with a choir song. Other performances included Toby Charles, Somewhere Soul and Aubrey Seader. The Shack was also decorated with photography from Vinay Tailor. The event included free food and free goodies such as pencils and, in exchange for filling in a survey, a free powerbank.

Photo credits: Isabel Beninga

This is the first event hosted in collaboration with these institutions, and for Strand magazine its first hosted (open) event ever. Main organiser and Head Editor of Strand magazine, Samuel Turner, stated the following on the organisational developments regarding the Rise event: “Rise went great, it was the first major event at The Shack and it is a stepping stone towards further shows and events by the magazine. We’ve got a lot planned! Rise would have been larger if not for unforeseen difficulties with KCLSU’s administration, but next year’s Rise event is already being planned.”

When asked about the main message Rise wanted to convey in regards to mental health, Samuel replied: “Rise was an event that sought to combine music and mental health to celebrate both on World Mental Health Day. It was great to have a place for performers and students to express themselves, share experiences with mental health and remove stigmas surrounding it.”

Rise also featured an event hosted by their partner Future Retrospective Panel with the SMaRteN Network. This ticketed panel included panellists professor Sir Simon Wessely, Regius Professor of Psychiatry at the IoPPN, Jo Levy, Head of Counselling, Outreach and Training, Rosie Tressler, CEO of Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity, and more. This talk was also a collaboration between different KCLSU societies such as the Literacy Society, PhotoSoc, Strand Magazine and Think Mental.

On the panel, Sir Simon Wessely commented for Roar, “”SMaRteN invited students to take part in the launch of the network with Wednesday’s Future Retrospective. As we face challenging times for student mental health, we also have exciting opportunities to ensure that students shape the future of mental health in Higher Education. SMaRteN is a UKRI funded national mental health research network, led by the IoPPN and focusing on students. Students will be able to get involved in the network in many ways at www.SMaRteN.org.uk/.”

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