Written by Amy Smith
Mental health and wellbeing are becoming an increasing topic of focus at universities, and in my opinion, rightly so. This is clear to see if you follow pages such as ‘HullFess’ on Facebook – where anonymous ‘confessions’ surrounding mental health have ‘skyrocketed’ lately, according to Admins of the page.
The financial and academic stressors of university life have also been shown to have a link to mental health issues, and students coming from more socially disadvantaged backgrounds are shown to have a higher risk of suffering from episodes of poor mental health.
The library has collaborated with the University’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team and has introduced the National Reading Well Scheme. The section in the library involves a series of book collections covering topics such as stress, insomnia, depression, shyness, body image, IBS, chronic fatigue and OCD. The section is designed to encourage students and staff to better understand their own and other’s mental health and wellbeing.
“Recent statistics by the Institute for Public Policy Research (2017) revealed that in 2015/16, over 15,000 Freshers in the UK reported they had a mental health problem, compared to 3,000 in 2006”
The stigma surrounding mental health is vital for universities to address, and I hope things like the Reading Well Scheme are just the beginning of continued increasing awareness surrounding student mental health. Awareness and knowledge are a great step towards breaking down the stigmas surrounding mental health and invisible chronic illnesses.
The books are housed in the corner of the Reading Room on the 1st floor.