The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust has launched a new resource to support students experiencing mental health issues. The charity works to equip young people with the skills to look after their mental wellbeing. It was set up in 1997 in memory of Charlie Waller, a young man who took his life after suffering from mental health issues. The guide contains advice to students, including ways to tackle a loss in concentration or insomnia, aiding them with recognising potential symptoms of anxiety and depression. The resource is free to download and emphasises that mental health issues are very common and the importance of opening up.

The resource forms part of the chairty’s #RunForWellbeing initiative which acknowledges the “growing evidence showcasing the benefits of exercise for mental wellbeing”, promoting regular exercise to help improve mental wellbeing. The guide encourages students to take the time to get fresh air and to exercise every day, helping support sleep and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety in the process. #RunForWellbeing aims to raise awareness, creating a conversation around exercise and wellbeing by asking people to share their personal stories on social media of how exercise has helped them with their mental health, using the same hashtag, #RunForWellbeing.

Clare Stafford, CEO of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, commented saying: “Looking after our mental wellbeing is more important than ever before. 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, and 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, while offering practical, effective support.”

She added: “We understand that if you’re depressed, it can be really difficult to get active, but we want to encourage students to consider that, whatever the choice of exercise – running, swimming, dancing, football, yoga, walking – physical activity can be really good for your mental health. Even a twenty-minute walk outside can have a really positive effect, and the important thing to remember is to speak to someone if you’re experiencing these common struggles.”

The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust trains and educates parents, teachers and higher education staff to identify struggling young people. It works with a network of over 40 highly skilled mental health trainers, who deliver training across the UK on a daily basis.

You can contact STS by calling 01603 592761 or emailing studentsupport@uea.ac.uk. A full list of support services available can be found here.

Alternatively you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 24-hours a day or email jo@samaritans.org