Hannah Walker – 3rd year BSc Psychology student.
My main experience with mental health is with schizophrenia, because I have worked as a Health Care Assistant in an NHS schizophrenia ward for a year and a half. Working there has given me great insight into the personal experiences of the patients. I think it is one thing learning about mental health issues in a classroom, but it is an entirely different thing to see them and experience it first-hand.
anyone can struggle with mental health difficulties – no matter how like or unlike you they are.
The most striking part of my job is seeing how much the patients are like me. On my first day I remember having a conversation with one of the younger patients and they were telling me about how they were going out that night with friends in the local bar that I often visited. There have been other patients who have similar interests and hobbies to me. This resonated with me because it makes you realise that really anyone can struggle with mental health difficulties – no matter how like or unlike you they are.
To bring this back to University Mental Health Day, it is so important to understand that the face of mental health struggles can be anyone – mental ill-health is not the traditionally pictured dishevelled individuals that the media depicts, but people who look just like you or me. This is vital to bear in mind when we are battling a mental health crisis brought about by unprecedented circumstances, and we have to remember to treat everyone with kindness, because we don’t know who could be struggling.