Lecturers promote mental wellbeing through random acts of kindness

Staff at Robert Gordon University (RGU) encouraged positive mental wellbeing across campus this month through a series of engaging activities, including free movie screenings and encouraging random acts of kindness.

RGU lecturers engaged with colleagues, students and members of the public during Mental Health Awareness Week on campus.Students and staff at RGU marked Mental Health Awareness Week from Monday, May 16 as part of a UK-wide initiative supported by the Mental Health Foundation.

The focus of this year’s campaign was relationships and encouraged staff and students to involve the Five Ways to Wellbeing key actions throughout the event: ‘Keep learning,’ ‘Take notice,’ ‘Be active,’ Connect,’ and ‘Give’.

The event was in partnership with the university’s ‘Fit for the Future’ initiative and throughout the week the activities encouraged people to, among other things, make eye contact with each other and carry out random acts of kindness.

Monday, May 16 marked the start of RGU’s Mental Health Movie Monthly which was hosted by Mental Health Nursing lecturers, Dan Warrender and Scott Macpherson.

The first showing was of ‘Take Shelter’ and the initiative will continue to showcase one film each month for the next five months to aid discussion around mental health and continuously raise awareness until Mental Health Day in October.

The free movie screenings are open to staff, students and members of the public.

Following Monday’s movie, Tuesday saw ‘Sparkly Eye Day’ which encouraged eye contact and Wednesday saw Sifu Bruce Clark, 6th Dan, of Aberdeen’s Yees Hung Ga King Fu Association, lead a session on Qi-gong body energy and stance work.

Throughout Thursday and Friday, the university encouraged random acts of kindness which saw lecturers give out free hugs to bring people closer together.

RGU Mental Health Nursing Lecturer Dan Warrender, said: “Mental Health Awareness Week has been a great success following a strong turnout from RGU and NHS Grampian staff as well as members of the public.

"Throughout the week these events have reminded people that mental health is more than just freedom from mental illness, and it is an issue for all of us."

The university’s Mental Health Wellbeing Group will look to build on these activities in the future by inviting the wider community on to the campus for other events, including World Mental Health Day in October.

Release by
Rebecca LewisCommunications Office Placement Student