RGU has become the latest university in Scotland to publicly pledge its commitment to work with ‘see me’ to tackle the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental ill-health.
‘see me’, Scotland’s national campaign to end the stigma of mental ill-health, works in partnership with local businesses, organisations and public bodies across Scotland to highlight the importance of positive mental health and well-being, both in the workplace and beyond. ‘see me’ is committed to empowering people to speak openly and confidently about mental ill-health to break down the associated barriers.
The pledge came as part of the university’s ‘Stressercise Week’, an initiative to promote positive mental wellbeing via physical activity. Through a series of events on campus, members of Robert Gordon University’s Mental Health Campaign engaged staff and students in fun exercise and information sessions. Participants learned how to lower their stress levels and where they can get help and advice on mental health and wellbeing.
John Harper, Deputy Principle and Vice Chancellor of Robert Gordon University, formally signed the pledge with Suzie Vestri, Campaign Director of ‘see me’, and agreed an action plan to tackle stigma and discrimination on ‘University Street’ at Robert Gordon University’s Garthdee Campus.
As part of the action plan, Robert Gordon University committed to offer support and guidance to staff and students experiencing mental ill-health via physical activity initiatives including a dodgeball tournament, the RGU’s Greatest Athlete programme and campus walks. The university will also offer courses in Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid and commit to monthly meetings of its Mental Health Committee.
Suzie Vestri, Campaign Director of ‘see me’, said: “Everyone has a part to play in tackling the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental ill-health and we welcome the commitment made by Robert Gordon University to provide a mentally healthy environment for its staff and students.
“It’s important to remember that one in four Scots will be affected by mental health problems at some point in their lives. It could happen to a friend, family member, or colleague. The vast majority of those who have experienced stigma say that the discrimination they experienced was worse than living with the condition itself.”
John Harper, Deputy Principal and Vice Chancellor of Robert Gordon University, said: “We are proud to become a signatory to the ‘see me’ pledge and, through this, demonstrate our responsibility to equip and encourage our staff and students to challenge stigma and discrimination. Signing the pledge and adopting the action plan will further enhance Robert Gordon University’s ability to provide a mentally healthy and supportive environment.”
For more information on signing the ‘see me’ pledge visit: www.seemescotland.org
Top right - (from left) Professor John Harper (RGU Deputy Principal and Vice Chancellor), Nicola Scott (RGU President of Sport and Physical Activity), Suzie Vestri (Campaign Director of ‘see me’).
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Notes to Editors
- ‘see me’ is Scotland's national campaign to end the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health. The ‘see me’ anti-stigma campaign is owned and run by an alliance of five Scottish mental health organisations: Highland Users Group (HUG), Penumbra, Royal College of Psychiatrists (Scottish Division), Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Support in Mind Scotland.
- ‘see me’ is fully funded by the Scottish Government
- The ‘see me’ campaign features a programme of events and local and national initiatives to reduce the stigma faced by people with mental health problems throughout Scotland.
- The ’see me’ website www.seemescotland.org acts as a signpost site for those seeking information on stigma, mental health problems and support services in Scotland.