Thursday 21 February 2013 

Leicestershire Support DMU's Ask Me About Campaign

	Leicestershire Support DMU's Ask Me About Campaign
Leicestershire Support DMU's Ask Me About Campaign
© De Montfort University
 

Students at Leicestershire CCC's cultural partners De Montfort University (DMU) recruited famous Leicestershire faces to support a new mental health campaign.

Matthew Boyce, who recently walked from John O’Groats to Lands End to raise money and awareness for mental health charity MIND, Niall O’Brien, Nathan Buck, Michael Thornely, Shiv Thakor, James Sykes and Club Ambassador Paul Nixon were among those backing the Ask Me About campaign.

O’Brien said: "More and more people are realising it’s not a sign of weakness if you are struggling. Especially in sport, there are so many ups and downs and in cricket, we are very grateful to the PCA who are very, very good and are there to help any players who need it."

Assistant City Mayor Councillor Manjula Sood, Leicestershire Chief Constable Simon Cole, Leicester City ambassador Alan Birchenall and Leicester Comedy Festival director Geoff Rowe have also been involved.

It was all part of DMU’s contribution to University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day, which was held yesterday.

This annual event aims to promote positive mental health for staff and students in higher education. Special placards with messages supporting the campaign were produced and used in pictures at different places in the city.

The placards read: "Ask Me About…" with students writing in their own experiences in an attempt to start a conversation about positive mental health.

Kristina Cook was among the students who took part in the event. As a volunteer for V-Inspired, she is passionate about spreading a positive message.

She said: "One in four people will suffer mental health issues and it’s important to recognise things that people can do to make a difference to their state of mind by staying positive or exercising."

Many of the people they have approached have a connection with mental health: Simon Cole is ACPO spokesman for mental health; Paul Nixon wrote about it in his biography and Geoff Rowe has used the comedy festival to break down barriers.

Prof Dominic Shellard, vice-chancellor of the university, was with students on the day. He wrote of his experiences with anxiety in the past.

He said: "Ask Me About is all about promoting positive experiences around mental health. Everyone has a right to positive mental health and I have been incredibly impressed with students who are championing this cause."