University Mental Health Day is a national event that aims to bring together the university community to have a wider conversation about mental health. By shedding some light on learning how to manage and work with your mental health, the event seeks to inspire people into action to make changes to the way we understand our health and how best to help ourselves and others.
Harper Adams engineering alumnus Jonathan Glen is an advocate for speaking out about mental health. Before joining the university, Jonathan worked out in New Zealand on a dairy farm. He commented: “I moved into a community where I didn’t know anybody. I lived on my own in a house on the farm and the stress of the job overall was a significant factor in spurring a bout of depression.”
Although Jonathan had suffered with his mental health previously, the isolation and long hours of being on the farm increased his unhappiness. It was only when he arrived at Harper Adams, he realised how his mental health had worsened. Jonathan explained: "It wasn’t until I came to Harper that I really got a grip on it. I was going through a rough patch and I started having conversations with people, thinking this was a bizarre concept, how I was feeling. I got to this social point of reference where I realised this is not normal and I shouldn’t feel like that.
"It is so important to bounce those feelings off other people. It is very much the case that if you spend a long time on your own, it is very easy to become focused only on your own thoughts and feelings and you lose track of what is normal.”
Now campaigning with Yellow Wellies, Jonathan is speaking out about his experience to raise awareness and reassure people that things do get better by sharing your feelings and seeking help. He commented: “We all need to help fight the stigma of mental health, especially in agriculture where it’s much tougher.
“The more people stand up and speak out, the better.”
Today the Students' Union are running an event in line with University Mental Health Day, providing information, mental health help kits and a Q&A event so students can begin to ask the questions that will help on their own mental health journeys. Join them in the Faccenda from 11am for inspiration, resources and more.
For further information about mental health services available on campus, please see our Student Services page. If you have any questions for the team, you can join us on our open day, March 21, and join our campus community while achieving a degree that matters.