MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK IN NEWCASTLE

Haaris Qureshi, conference leader of Newcastle University's ‘Mind the Gap’ society aims to promote knowledge and understanding of mental health. Haaris gives Katie Baggott an insight into what the society does to help support mental health in Newcastle.
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK IN NEWCASTLE

What is Mind the Gap?

Mind the Gap is Newcastle University’s first mental health project, planned and delivered by students. The society was set up to deliver challenging and stimulating events to generate debate and dispel stigma. Following the success of a conference and project outreach event in 2014, the Mind the Gap society was formed.

On the project, Haaris Qureshi says: “Our aim is to work with local schools to build knowledge and understanding of mental health in our younger population. Events in the past have proven to be popular with students and they are very enjoyable and exciting for volunteers to join in too.”

What was the society set up?

National statistics from the Mental Health Foundation found that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14, and 75% by the age of 24.

Haaris believes that mental health issues in young people can often be caused by academic pressures.

“More awareness needs to be raised across the education system in secondary schools and beyond,” he says.

“There is an extreme problem with a lack of awareness in education. A lot of young adults study at university with symptoms of severe mental illness and don’t realise how to identify their symptoms or how to access support and help.”

Involvement in local campaigns and events

Members at Mind the Gap continue to raise the awareness of mental health. They achieve this through conferences, campaigns, fortnightly discussions and support groups in a safe, calm environment. Haaris found that depression and anxiety are the most prevalent mental illnesses between 18-24 year olds and believes that mental health should be seen in the same context as physical health.

Mind the Gap and other local organisations stress the need to talk about feelings and health-related issues this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.


Visit the Mind the Gap Facebook page here to find out more information about the society: @NUSUMindtheGap.

Seaham Hall

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