Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Do YOU Care About Mental Health?

For our project, our group decided to try to raise attendance for the Coventry and Warwickshire Mind bus. The bus is a fantastic mental health and well-being outreach service aimed to support and inform students. The service visits the University of Warwick campus twice an academic term and is  woefully attended. This sadly has little to do with well-being on campus being so high that the service isn't needed. In fact a recent NUS survey has found that 78% of students British universities had experienced some kind of mental health problem in the previous year and only 54% had sought help.  This can show clearly how important a strong culture of promoting good mental health and well-being on campus is, and the Coventry and Warwickshire Mind bus is the perfect opportunity to give students quick access to support and information.

From polling students we discovered that most students had never heard of the bus despite its presence on campus for the last few years. From this, a key focus of our campaign was to raise awareness of the bus and its services, to promote it as a great way to encourage good mental health on campus. We contacted a range of different support services on the university campus such as the Students Union, Student Support Services, the library, RaW and Warwick TV to inform them of the Mind Bus and ask them to promote it's visits to campus.

We designed posters and put them up around the university to catch students attention and hopefully encourage them to visit the bus. An important part of this was helping students connect the bus when they saw it as a Mind service, as many students we spoke to hadn't ever been sure what the bus was when they saw it.

Leading up to the next bus visit, we created a Facebook event and a Twitter page to promote the event and get others involved. The next time the bus was on campus our dedicated team stopped students to discuss mental health with them, informing them of the bus's services, all the wonderful things on offer and the benefits of having more awareness of issues in mental health. We also handed out badges with the message 'I Care About Mental Health'.

Through our efforts we increased attendance to the bus an impressive amount, from three people on its first visit to campus in second term to fifteen people on its second visit that term. In addition to this, by involving other services across the uni, their continued promotion will hopefully lead to a gradual and sustained increased in access to this service - a great thing for well-being on campus!

Stephanie Ryan
Rosie Davis
Christina Shearn
Yaschal Rao

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