The mission of Mind Your Head is to promote understanding of mental health, to ensure that students have access to information about finding support, and to combat the stigma that surrounds mental health difficulties.
I am a PhD student in the Department of Education and founded Mind Your Head in 2014/15 while being the President of the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA). Having a mental illness myself, when I first arrived in York my condition worsened, and I found it was very difficult to access help. Once I got back on my feet and started working at the GSA, I was overwhelmed when I realised how many students go through the same hardship. Having had the wonderful support of the GSA, Ken Leach and I were able to start a campaign that we hope will help students access information and help more easily, feel empowered to talk about their feelings and difficulties, and reach out to others.
I am a PhD student studying wellbeing and happiness policy in the Department of Sociology. I was also the former General Manager of the Graduate Students’ Association during the launch of Mind Your Head. As well as having health and government policy experience, I have also accessed counselling and CBT services.
I have been involved with Mind Your Head since the launch of the website in September 2015, when I started my MSc Health Economics degree at York.
I am currently still volunteering as an External Coordinator.
I strongly believe in the work that Mind Your Head does and the services it provides York’s students. We are a very caring and understanding group, and I hope you will come to our events, stop and say hi if you see any of us around on campus. Anyone who is interested in putting time towards volunteering with us should know we will welcome you with open arms.
Eleanor Cole – Coordinator
I am a PhD student in The Department of Psychology at The University of York carrying out autism research. I also run a support group for autistic adults in the York area and I am employed as an autism diagnostician. I have been consistently shocked at the negative experiences the adults I work with have had regarding others’ attitudes towards their conditions. Their experiences alerted me to the lack of understanding and support available in local workplaces & to students with social and mental health difficulties. This motivated me to try and make a difference. Through the Mind Your Head campaign I aim to create support groups for students with a range of different mental health difficulties and to provide information & training to staff to create more accommodating workplaces. I hope to get university members enthused to make a difference and work together towards a more inclusive and supportive environment. Also I started the Mental Illness Awareness Week which runs annually in February.
Nicola Ashman – Coordinator
I am an Undergraduate studying Chemistry at the University of York. There is nothing I am more passionate about than Mind Your Head and the brilliant things MYH do! Mental health had never really crossed my mind until my partner began to suffer with depression. I attended a talk run by MYH in Mental Illness Awareness Week to improve my understanding which was extremely helpful, and from then I decided to get involved as it was made clear to me how valuable it is that students have access to information about mental health and the support available. I hope I can help the campaign to continue to be successful at improving the understanding of students like myself.
Megan Jones – Coordinator
I am an undergraduate studying Biology and have been involved with MYH since I started my degree here at York in September 2015. Having personal experience of mental illness, I have seen and experienced the difficulties that students are faced with when trying to access support and cope with their condition whilst at university. So when I first moved to York, I knew that I wanted to join an organisation that would enable me to help other people in similar situations, so that they wouldn’t have to go through these same problems, as well as improving the understanding of mental health in the university community. MYH seemed perfect as everyone is so passionate and knowledgeable about mental health. We have come so far in one year, and now, with our ever-growing team of dedicated volunteers, I can’t wait to see what we can do to help York students’ mental health in the future!
Gina Wieringa – Blog Lead
I am a second year undergraduate studying Psychology. I decided to get involved with Mind Your Head because I am passionate about improving the wellbeing of others. I volunteer with other mental health projects within the university as well as working on an acute psychiatric ward and find them all extremely rewarding. These experiences have highlighted to me the relative ease by which we can improve individual’s wellbeing through support and understanding. I want to be a clinical psychologist in the future and once I became aware of the numerous events and campaigns for students with mental health difficulties which Mind Your Head runs I was extremely interested in getting involved. I feel privileged to be part of such a supportive society which does integral (and much needed!) work across campus to raise awareness among university members and to bring down the barriers surrounding mental illness.
Molly Wilson – Administrator
I am a second year undergraduate student studying Psychology at University of York. Given my past volunteering experience, helping people with mental health issues, I realised how negative stigma is a major contributor which can effect recovery rates among young people. I believe Mind Your Head positively addresses these issues and aims to reduce the negative stigma within the university. This, I felt enabled students to feel supported and safe both on and off campus. I hope that in the future we can successfully move forward and conduct events which will promote the campaign further and create a supportive network in which both staff and students can feel united.
Barbara Madea – Coordinator (2015-2016)
Madeline Ray – Admin Lead (2015-2016)
Enya Doyle – Website, Social Media & Marketing Lead (2015-2016)
Emily Boardman – Project & Events Lead (2015-2016)