The Dundee University Yoga Society’s ongoing partnership with Change Mental Health
A discussion with the Dundee University Yoga Society about the joint commitment to addressing students’ mental wellbeing and creating space for discussion.
The Dundee University Yoga Society has teamed up with Change Mental Health for the 2023/24 academic year, driven by a shared belief in the significance of mental wellbeing. This collaboration goes beyond yoga and reflects a joint commitment to mental health. In this interview, the society explains why they chose Change Mental Health for the second year of cooperation and sheds light on students’ challenges in accessing mental health support.
Why did you choose to partner with Change Mental Health?
As a society, we choose to partner with Change Mental Health again because we strongly believe that mental health is such an important part of your daily life and Change Mental Health’s mission correlates well with the values and practice of yoga. As yoga is so focused on mindfulness, we felt it was important that we partner with a charity where this was at the forefront of their mission.
What are the main obstacles you think students (young adults in general) face when trying to access mental health support?
We believe that the most prominent issue preventing young people and students from accessing mental health support is the waiting times for appointments and the cost of going private when trying to solve the waiting problem. As the awareness of mental health has been increasing, the numbers seeking support have also increased, which is obviously fantastic that we are starting to beat the stigma around seeking support, but equally, the resources for support must increase with the demand. This is a reason we like working with Change, as they provide a whole range of services or will source a service out with their own to fit your needs.
What are the main factors that you feel impact students’ (young people in general) mental wellbeing?
We believe that a huge problem among young people is minimising the issues they are having due to wanting to appear strong or simply not having the knowledge of what they are going through, which counts as a mental health struggle. There is often a lot of misunderstanding around mental health, especially in Western society.
“In the West, we are extremely work-orientated; we often minimise stress or feelings of sadness as a ‘normal’ part of life when it doesn’t have to be. We think this is especially visible in the student community as students are often under extreme stress and pressure, and sometimes, the feelings you are struggling with can be minimised and grouped in with university life.”
Day-to-day life as a student can be tough anyway. For a lot of students, it is their first time living independently away from home and the support of their families. Students have to manage their money, studies, a job, keep themselves alive and balance a social life and their mental wellbeing, which can be a difficult task on its own, never mind having just left home and having to figure it all out. It can be an extremely overwhelming time at the best of times, but especially in this current political and financial climate.
What do you think organisations (including your university) could do to better support student mental health?
We feel that within the university they have somewhat adapted a once size fits all approach to helping with mental wellness and feel that a more individualised approach would be much more beneficial. Support and guidance towards services or charity’s such as Change Mental Health being frequently and widely spoken about with students could be a great step forward, often the hardest part of a mental health journey is asking for help and it may make the process more accessible to those who would struggle asking for a recommendation for somewhere to turn to if the information was already out there.
How have you found working with Change Mental Health so far?
Amazing! We as a society love being associated with an organisation who are as passionate as we are about mental wellness! Mirren in particular, has created such a safe space for our members to discuss support options and has highlighted struggles students might face, such as stress, one a lot of our members and committee had not identified as a mental health struggle and has educated us on all of the support available to us. We love working with Change and hope this is a lasting partnership!
The Dundee University Yoga Society’s experience shows how this partnership can make a real difference. By joining forces with Change Mental Health, you connect with an organisation that truly understands the link between mental health, wellbeing, work environment and home.
Partnerships like this create a supportive space for discussions for your community, members or employees and help them deal with their mental health challenges with comprehensive support and awareness.
Reach out to our fundraising team to explore diverse ways of partnering with our organisation and supporting our mission.
If you are an educator or work in student support, Bloom and Your Resilience provides school staff with the opportunity to develop their skills and confidence in having open conversations about mental health and support young people in transitioning to higher education. Learn more about the different Young People’s Programmes and contact us for more details.
Our Advice and Support Service is open Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, where advisers can signpost you to local support that most fits your needs, including our Change Mental Health services. We offer initial advice on money worries and help to deal with emergencies.
Contact 0808 8010 515, email us at email@example.com or fill out the enquiry form on the Advice and Support Service page.
Breathing Space is a free and confidential phone service for anyone in Scotland over the age of 16 feeling low, depressed or anxious. Phone Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 (6pm to 2am, weekdays and 24 hours at the weekend).