The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day, (WMHD), on 10 October each year.
Although recognising and supporting mental health is important every day, days like this can help raise awareness and drive positive action. At UCL World Mental Health Day provides an important opportunity to reflect upon working culture and how mental health is perceived and treated within the university. It is a valuable step to ensuring that mental health is treated equitably and with the same respect and dignity as that of a physical injury.
Evidence tells us that, particularly in higher education, mental health is stigmatized and viewed as something to ignore, and from local UCL reports Workplace Health has identified that this stigma is prevalent throughout UCL staffing cultures. It is important that significant steps are taken to address mental health issues across the institution adopting a whole university approach recognising the interconnectivity between student and staff wellbeing.
In 2023, Workplace Health made the decision to run a campaign to support staff mental health. It did this through its staff support networks, the Wellbeing Champions and the Mental Health First Aiders who are specifically trained individuals, capable of providing support to their peers. This is an incredibly valuable network of support that is spread throughout UCL's staff network and is constantly working to ensure that mental health is treated with respect and dignity.
Read about the 2023 campaign - Mental health is a univeral human right
Read the blog written for the Institute of Mental Health - Mental Health is a human right – a workplace perspective
Watch the video produced by Workplace Health featuring the Provost of UCL as well as Wellbeing Champpions and Mental Health First Aiders