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World Mental Health Day 2017

Tuesday 10 October 2017 NUS News

Eight out of ten students have experienced some form of mental health difficulty during their studies. Here, two of our elected officers look at how mental health affects students from different backgrounds.

Izzy Lenga
NUS Vice President (Welfare)

"The theme of this year's World Mental Health Day is 'mental health in the work place', and students in work-based study, including all kinds of apprentices and trainees, face unique challenges. They balance the needs of their employers, their studies and their personal lives, while often under considerable financial pressure.

"This inevitably takes its strain on the mental health of thousands of apprentices across the country, who struggle through despite a lack of educational and career support and wider mental health provision. We have noticed that during the discussions and headlines about student mental health, apprentices are too often forgotten.

"The link between underpaid or insecure work and mental health or anxiety issues is clear. When it comes to pay, cost of living and security of work, much more needs to be done to support the mental health of our apprentices."

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Rachel O'Brien
NUS Disabled Students' Officer

"Although this is my first year as the Disabled Students’ Officer, I have been involved in disability activism on and off campuses for three years. I am sure some of you are reading this and thinking 'why is she talking about disability when it’s World Mental Health Day?'

"First and foremost, we are all service users, often using the same or similar services. Be that campus mental health and student support, the NHS or claiming benefits and accessing social care – we want the same things, and are experiencing the same cuts.

"From anti-cuts campaigning, fighting for on-campus provision, struggles around the right of service users to confidentiality around their treatment and more, one thing has been clear: as disabled people we must realise that the barriers we face are not only similar, they are also political."

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For information and support in relation to your mental health, check out our Advice pages or get in touch with your students' union.