GUCFS this year are working with SAMH, an incredible charity focussing on running some amazing campaigns to end the stigma in Scotland around issues surround mental health. They run both community and national programs, including the See Me campaign which aims to end the stigma surround mental health. Their Respect Me campaign aims to put an end to bullying and their Get Active campaign aims to bring about improvements in mental health and well being through sport. Finally, their Suicide Prevention campaign which involves both Community Supported Networks and Peer Supported Networks, offer support to anyone thinking of, or concerned about someone who pay be thinking about attempted suicide.
This year our main focus is simple: to promote our charitable partners and their great work, alongside fighting against the stigma regarding mental health on campus.
As GUCFS President Autumn Withey Stevens states: ‘Being part of GUCFS is the most rewarding experience I have ever had. The most exciting part of my job is the fact that I know we have the capacity to bring about change – we can actually really help SAMH and, hopefully, some students along the way too! For me, spreading awareness and encouraging people to speak openly about mental ill-health is crucial and I hope that over the course of this year we can help in this respect. The stigma surrounding mental ill-health and the serious lack of funding that goes into helping those in need is something I believe needs to change, and soon! Working with SAMH is amazing, they are so supportive and just absolutely lovely!’
Running from Mental Health Awareness day, GUCFS ran a collection of events aiming to raise awareness for Mental Health Awareness Week. Our GUCFS blog also features a new series about both personal experiences with mental health issues and thought pieces. We want to open up a frank discussion about mental health on campus, and help end the stigma surrounding mental health. It is incredibly important to us that we do so considering the lack of mental health facilities available in UK university institutions all over the UK, and that university is a prevalent time were so many students suffer from mental health issues. Moreover, our recent launch at Studio93 was an incredible success in raising money for SAMH.
GUCFS also recently raised £2060 for SAMH over summer with three of our committee members doing their Superhero Skydive with SAMH. Throughout the year on the run up to the show we will be hosting events all over campus, aiming to fundraise as much as physically possible for SAMH themselves- keep an eye on our facebook page for all our recent updates!
-Hannah May Todd