‘Mental health is as important as physical health’ says Bucks New University on Time to Talk Day.

Bucks New University marked Time to Talk Day on February 6 with a cuppa and a chat at an informal awareness-raising event for its students and staff to find out about the mental health support it offers.

The national initiative is organised by the Time to Change campaign led by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and encourages people to speak openly about mental health.

The University’s Students’ Union joined its disability service, multi-faith chaplaincy, student wellbeing, and human resources teams in serving tea, coffee, and biscuits, and handing out leaflets and information.

Bucks Students’ Union also took the bags to students in halls of residence at High Wycombe, as well as to students studying at the University’s campuses in Uxbridge and Aylesbury.

Brooke Pilbeam, vice president education and welfare at Bucks Students’ Union, said: “We know that university can be daunting and that particularly in their first year students may feel isolated, homesick, or just a bit lost.

“So on Time to Talk Day we are delivering tea and biscuits to halls and checking up on those that may need a bit of extra support. As always, we have information on how to help people and show them how to access additional support.”

In 2016, the University and Bucks Students’ Union signed a Time to Change Pledge to demonstrate their joint commitment to tackling the stigma and discrimination often faced by people with mental health issues.

Rachel Cragg, pro vice-chancellor education and digital, said: “The university’s aim is to support and enable all our students and staff to look after their mental health as they would their physical health.

“The university continues to honour the Time to Change pledge we signed with Bucks Students’ Union to demonstrate a joint commitment to tackling the stigma and discrimination often faced by people with mental health issues.

“Time to Talk Day is an opportunity to further share the range of support we offer for our students and staff.”

Maureen O’Brien, inclusion, diversity and disability manager at the university, said it was important to ‘break down the stigma’ around talking about mental health.

She said: “Talking openly about mental ill health is hugely important to addressing isolation which can so often be a destructive force.

“Time to Talk is all about starting a conversation. It doesn’t need to be awkward and stepping out of our comfort zones might be the first step but mental health wellbeing is central to our happiness.

"Time To Talk - give it a go. Nothing to lose and everything to gain.”