by Callum Ellis
TEA and toast was on the menu on Wednesday morning as the University of South Wales held an event to mark World Mental Health Day.
Students and staff based at the USW Sport Park in Treforest, were treated to free breakfast on their arrival at the venue.
The event allowed students to bond over toast and a hot brew ahead of a busy day for the sports teams competing in their respective British Universities and Colleges Sport division.
Brendan Cropley, Professor of Sport Coaching in the School of Health, Sport and Professional Practice at the university, believes events like these can have significant impacts.
He said: “We are really starting to open up on mental health issues and provide appropriate support. The idea of putting a tea and toast event on is to bring people together and get them talking about any issues they have got.
“Social support can have a huge impact on a person’s well-being and positive well-being can protect against mental health issues. I think it’s a great event just to get people together and talking.
“Raising awareness of these issues is really important. We don’t have a great deal of professionals, particularly in the UK, that can help with mental health so I suppose we have to look after each other.
“It’s a big part of being a human being to keep an eye on our neighbours, colleagues and friends. I think World Mental Health Day is a great way of raising that awareness and supporting people.”
Two talks will also take place at one of USW’s other campuses, Atrium in Cardiff, this afternoon to raise awareness of mental health. The Treforest campus will play host to a mental health and stigma talk from Time to Change Wales Champion, Laura Moulding.
Moulding, who is also a media volunteer for the Mind charity, will discuss her experiences of mental health and the stigma surrounding it.
Students from the BA Sports Journalism course held a Mental Health in Sport conference at the Sport Park in February earlier this year.
Former professional netballer Becky Oatley and current Cardiff-based rugby player Rory Pitman were both in attendance for the event as they opened up on their experiences with mental health.
If you are a student studying at USW, the university’s mental health service offers support and information to students who are experiencing mental health problems – and can be found by clicking here.