Our OpenTalks series recently arrived in Swansea for ‘Mental Health and Me’, a free event held in partnership with Time to Change Wales (Hafal, Mind Cymru). Inspired by OU/BBC co-production ‘David Harewood: Psychosis and Me’, we explored what it’s like to live with a mental health condition today in Wales.
Guests heard from a panel of speakers, including OU academic Sarah Vicary, who worked on the research behind the OU/BBC series, Judith Davies (Head of Social Work, The Open University in Wales), June Jones (Campaign and Strategy Lead, Time To Change Wales), and Stephen Lewis and Gwyneth Statham, two anti-stigma champions who shared their first-hand experiences of living with a mental health condition.
Here are six things we learnt, including some free resources which can be used to help promote good mental health in yourself and others.
1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime. If you don’t have a mental health problem, you’ll know someone who does.Judith Davies, Head of Social Work (The Open University in Wales)
Starting a conversation can be difficult, whether about your own wellbeing or that of someone you know. Big White Wall is a free resource for OU students and is a safe and anonymous place to start a conversation. Find out more about how we can support you during your studies.
Not a student? Here are some useful numbers:
Hafal 01792 816600
Mind Cymru 0300 12333937
We all have a responsibility to promote good mental health and to enable each other and ourselves to lead positive lives.Judith Davies, Head of Social Work (The Open University in Wales)
You can learn more about different perspectives and ways of thinking about mental health with our free online course, Making sense of mental health problems.
Time to Change Wales is the first all Wales campaign to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination which is faced by people and their families.Stephen Lewis, Anti-Stigma Champion (Time to Change Wales)
To find out more, visit the Time to Change Wales website. You can also follow Time to Change Wales on Twitter and Facebook for advice and updates.
Take a look at our free online course, Challenging ideas in mental health.
A healthy lifestyle is very important if you have a diagnosis of a mental health problem.Gwyneth Statham, Anti-Stigma Champion
There’s lots of evidence to show that exercise can have a positive impact on mental health, but why is this the case? Our free online course Exercise and mental health explores how physical activity can have a positive impact on our mental health and general wellbeing.
Extensive evidence shows that sharing experiences and life stories of people who have suffered or are suffering with mental health problems leads to a change in attitudes and behaviours.June Jones, Campaign and Strategy Lead (Time to Change Wales)
You can read personal stories from people living with a mental health problem on the Time to Change Wales website. Our student Liz also shares her experience of anxiety and how studying allowed her to better understand her mind. She explores how she used baking to combat her anxiety and how this led to her setting up her own company, BuBakes.
Mental health problems are the leading cause of sickness absence in the workplace. 1 in 6 workers experience a symptom of depression, stress or anxiety. The cost of mental health problems in Wales is estimated at £7.2 billion a year.June Jones, Campaign and Strategy Lead (Time to Change Wales)
Our free online course Work and mental health also looks at how employment affects mental health and what can be done to support people in finding and keeping work.
Explore Psychology and Counselling courses at the Open University.
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On 4 November, at the Wales Millennium Centre, over 350 students will graduate from the Open University in Wales in what is one of the university’s annual highlights. Most have studied part-time, often balancing this with work, family or caring for a loved one.
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