Health & Psychology

Beating Blue Monday: Charlie Waller Memorial Trust launches new mental health guide

Just in time for Blue Monday, the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a charity working to equip young people with the skills to look after their mental wellbeing, has launched a new resource to support students experiencing mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.

The new guide, which is available to download for free*, contains a range of helpful advice, including what students can do if they are finding it hard to concentrate or are having trouble sleeping, and helps them to recognise potential symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The resource emphasises that issues such as anxiety and depression are very common. A key piece of advice is for students to be open about how they are feeling. The guide also contains advice and encouragement for students to access support services through their GPs. It also advises them to consider help through their college or university. It complements studentsagainstdepression.org – a comprehensive mental health website for students funded by the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.

#RunForWellbeing

The launch of the resource forms part of the charity’s #RunForWellbeing initiative which recognises the growing evidence showcasing the benefits of exercise for mental wellbeing, and promotes regular exercise to help improve mental wellbeing. This is a key theme that runs throughout the new guide. It encourages students to take the time to get fresh air and to exercise every day. As a result, this can help support sleep and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust’s #RunForWellbeing initiative aims to raise awareness and create a conversation around exercise and wellbeing. Therefore, they aim to do this by asking people to share personal stories on social media of how exercise has helped them with their mental health. To achieve this they created the #RunForWellbeing hashtag.

Clare Stafford, CEO, Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, comments: “Looking after our mental wellbeing is more important than ever before, and days like Blue Monday are a good opportunity to prioritise conversations around mental health. We are increasingly receiving reports of students struggling with their mental health, particularly at this time of year, and it’s crucial that they are able to access the support they need.

“Our charity’s mission is to equip young people with the tools they need to take care of their mental health. To encourage them to seek help if they are depressed or experiencing other mental health issues. With the launch of our new resource for students, we hope to highlight that mental health issues are very common in this demographic. On top of this awareness, we aim to offer practical, effective support.”

How the Trust Aims to Equip Others with the Skills to Help

The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust trains and educates parents, teachers, and college and university staff to identify when a young person might be struggling and to offer the necessary first line support. The charity works with a network of over 40 highly skilled mental health trainers to deliver daily training sessions.

Clare Stafford continues: “We understand that if you’re depressed, it can be really difficult to get active. However, we want to encourage students to consider that physical activity can be really good for your mental health. Even a twenty-minute walk outside can have a really positive effect. The important thing to remember is to speak to someone if you’re experiencing these common struggles.”

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is a national charity partner for the Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon 2020. It has a team of 50 runners who are fundraising for the charity, while championing the #RunForWellbeing initiative.

More information on fundraising for the charity can be found here:  www.cwmt.org.uk/cambridge-half-marathon-2020

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