Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week (Monday 13th May – Sunday 19th May) is dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging communication on the matters of mental health. This can be the difference between good and bad mental health, or how to help someone struggling with their mental health. Or maybe it’s something as simple as reaching out to you friends and family and making sure they’re doing okay.  

Around one in four people will experience mental health problems per year, in the UK, and more than 1.8 million people are on the waiting list for mental health services. It is so important that we understand how mental health can be affected and how we can help.   

Mental Health Awareness Week hosted by the Mental Health Foundation on 13 to 19 May 2024

Wear It Green Day is an event that takes place on the Thursday the 16th of May to raise funds and awareness for mental health. This can be done in any environment, be it the workplace, school, university or in the general community. The significance of the colour green stems from the 1800’s. During this time, it was used as a label for those who were considered ‘insane’ or mentally ill. Now that symbol has been reclaimed, with new meanings, like new life, to represent recovery and personal growth. It works towards breaking down the stigma attached to mental health and creating a supportive environment.

In 2007, The National Federation of Families created the Annual Green Ribbon Campaign, now the Green Ribbon Pin Badge is the international symbol for mental health awareness. It can be worn in the memory of a loved one, or two show the people around you that you care about their mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week Green Ribbon

The Mental Health Awareness Week theme for 2024 is Movement. Exercise can help strengthen and protect our mental health. It allows our bodies to release endorphins, chemical changes triggered in the brain that helps improve our mood. This can be something as short as a ten minute walk, or as long as a weekly hike. The recommended weekly physical activity for adults is around two and a half hours of moderate activity, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a mixture of the two. It helps reduce symptoms of low self-esteem and withdrawal, as well as improves sleep, mood, and alertness, with added stress relief, energy and stamina.

There are multiple events across 2024 in support of this. 

  • 31 Miles in May; Move It for Mental Health is a sponsored challenge to run, walk or cycle 31 Miles of your choosing.
  • There’s the GLOW mental health charity walk takes place in London (19th October), Birmingham (28th September) and Edinburgh (19th October). It’s a 20k night walk with lights and glowsticks to raise funds for those affected by mental health.
  • Or there is the London to Brighton 55 mile challenge on the 15th of September, where over 4000 people will cycle from London, through the English Countryside to Brighton’s finish line. It’s a fully sign posted route with water stops throughout the route with a minimum fundraising target of £150.
  • Sport in Mind will be hosting a range of walks during the week. You can find more information on the Sport in Mind website.

Donating to Mental Health Uk helps provide access to information, spreading awareness and supporting those affected by mental Health Issues.

Mental Health Awareness Week is incredibly important in the progress of mental health services and understanding the problems that affect so many people. It is a reminder that there is not enough being done by the Government to help and protect people’s mental health. Raising awareness is the first step to helping the nation.

For more information, check out the Mental Health Awareness Week page on Essentials.

If you want to find out more about different ways mental health can be affected, check out the Mental Health Foundation website. If you’re struggling with your mental health, please seek out the University Wellbeing Team for help.

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