An initiative by an ex-service user, our Heads UP service aims to provide students aged 15-24 with the facts and armoury necessary to ensure mental health discrimination becomes a thing of the past.
With an estimated one in four of us likely to experience a mental health problem, we believe it is crucial that those with a mental illness are educated on how to recognise their symptoms and how best to aid their recovery – and those without, are made aware of just how many people will find themselves in its grasp.
Our volunteer Heads UP facilitators themselves have first-hand experience of a mental health problem and by liaising with schools, colleges and universities to enable them a platform on which to talk openly about their experiences; our aim is to encourage others to have the confidence to do the same, without fear of prejudice.
Heads UP currently offers:
- Student support. We facilitate a peer support network that allows for individuals who have experienced or are experiencing a mental health problem to come together and discuss and make sense of their feelings in a positive and constructive environment.
- Signposting. If it is felt a student would benefit from additional support outside that which is offered by Solent Mind, we'll signpost accordingly – but we’ll remain a point of contact and will continue to provide support where necessary.
- Education. We believe that by targeting Hampshire’s classrooms and providing the education and know-how to change the perception of what it is to have a mental illness, we have a really good chance of changing the future for those who continue their battle for acceptance.
How to access this service
If you are a student or staff member at a school or college in the New Forest that would benefit from a visit from one of our Heads UP facilitators, please contact the Heads UP coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 07758 886 001.
We are contracted to work across the New Forest but an expanding team of volunteers allows us to extend our reach to schools, colleges and universities in Southampton and Hampshire. Contact your Student Welfare Officer or Student Services Department to find out more, or contact us using the details above.