A Public Relations graduate, who starred in the BBC’s ‘Mind over Marathon’ documentary, returned to BU to launch a series of activities linked to World Mental Health Day.
Claudia Barnett spoke to staff and students about her experiences of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and the importance of being open about mental health issues. She also shared how the BBC show, which tracked a group of people with mental health conditions as they prepared to run the London Marathon, has helped to break down barriers.
Claudia, who was joined by Jake and Georgie from the BBC1 series, said: “One third of the population will face a mental health issue at some point in their lives, and yet the stigma of mental health means that many people keep it to themselves. The result is that people feel isolated and as though they must be the only one facing the problem.
“For me, taking part in the Mind over Marathon documentary was one of the best things that could have happened. Not only did it show the positive impact of physical exercise on mental health, but it demonstrated that mental health is best tackled together, within a supportive network of friends who can understand what you are going through.”
The panel discussed how mental health issues can affect people from any walk of life, and offered advice on the practical steps that can be taken to minimise the impact of symptoms.
Claudia, who was returning to BU for the first time since graduating and who now works as a PR Executive, said: “University can be a tough time for anyone struggling with a mental health issue. You can feel thrown in at the deep end at a time when you are away from your existing support network. I am glad to say that I received lots of support during my time at BU, both from the lecturers and counselling services. The important thing is to speak out to ensure that you get the help you need.”
The World Mental Healthy Day 2017 programme is a result of a collaboration between Bournemouth University; Borough of Poole; Students Union Bournemouth University; Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust; Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner; Dorset Mental Health Forum; Dorset Mind and Healthwatch Dorset.
Find out more and book onto any of the events via the Eventbrite page.