A nurse and PhD student is leading a campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues among those in higher education.
Josephine NwaAmaka Bardi, a registered mental health nurse and PhD student, has launched the Raise Awareness of Mental Health in Higher Education (RAMHHE) campaign.
“They cried and I cried because there was very little that I could do at the time”
Josephine NwaAmaka Bardi
She said: “My passion to raise awareness of mental health in higher education began from my interaction with students who had experiences of mental ill-health.
“It broke my heart to watch, listen and hear them cry,” she said. “They cried and I cried because there was very little that I could do at the time.”
Ms Bardi, who is studying mental health and wellbeing at Nottingham University, is organising a conference and a public engagement event on the issue. She is also trying to draw attention to her cause via social media, a petition and a poster competition.
The conference, which is the UK’s first student-led conference on the issue of mental health in higher education, takes place on 10 October.
The objective is to remove stigma around mental health in higher education, and act as an inclusive day for staff, students, mental health experts and service providers to discuss perceptions of mental health and recovery.
Nurse highlights higher education mental health issues
Ms Bardi added that the aim of the event was to bring a “diverse group of people together to dialogue on the issue of mental health in higher education”.
In addition to the conference, she will also host the UK’s first ESRC public engagement event on the ‘Meaning and understanding of mental health’ in Nottingham.
Meanwhile, to promote her campaign, she has developed a selfie postcard so people can show their support via the social media site Twitter using the hashtag #RAMHHE16.
There is also a poster competition for health promotion posters on mental health, wellbeing and recovery, and Ms Bardi has started a petition calling on the government to debate mental ill-health in higher education.
Funding for the campaign is being provided via grants from the Economic and Social Research Council.