As the world has been plunged into unprecedented ways of living and working, the pillars of support each of us knew and recognised have been cruelly taken away by circumstances none of us could have predicted. The social gatherings that helped us overcome loneliness or the intimate meet ups that helped soothe our anxieties – now an uncertain potential. It is apt, then, that this year’s World Mental Health Day theme, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is ‘Mental Health For All’.
Recognising that each of us has a unique part to play in the success of students’ mental health and wellbeing is a key part of our work helping Scottish institutions develop Student Mental Health Agreements. Mental ill health can often transpire due to the repercussions of a complex mixture of intertwining, intersectional issues causing mounting stress and subsequent psychological pressure. That is why we encourage a holistic, whole-institution approach: a one-community, through our collaborative ethos.
This World Mental Health Day, then, as part of Edinburgh Thrive’s Collaboration with Thrive London and Thrive New York, we wanted to explore the potential benefits of art on students’ mental health. As well as understanding the academic support institutions and their partnering student associations can offer to support their students, we wanted to know what social or recreational support can students’ mental health benefit from.
There has been much research published on the positive impact of art, in all its forms, on boosting positive mental health and wellbeing. This World Mental Health Day, Reena, one of our Student Health Project Coordinators, spoke to the lovely Sally Nimmo, a mental health activist, artist and technology expert on her views of mental health and the arts and what’s been her go-to creative outlet during lockdown.
Check out Reena’s conversation with Sally below.
You can find more information about World Mental Health Day here.