Mental Health Awareness week is an annual campaign to focus on achieving good mental health. It is part of the Mental Health Foundation that was established 21 years ago.
This year the campaign explores loneliness, the effect it has on our mental health and how we can reduce loneliness. Loneliness is a subjective feeling experienced when the need for social contact and relationships are not met. Although, loneliness doesn’t necessarily always mean it is the same as ‘being alone’.
Throughout the pandemic, many of us have faced isolation under the lockdown rules creating separation from friends and family.
Libraries and Mental Health
Libraries can play an important role in bringing people together, fostering connections and communities. The Shelf Help collection at Edinburgh Napier University Library has been created to help students cope with different aspects of life such as starting university, managing finances, and eating healthily on a student budget. There are a wide range of books in Shelf Help aimed to help students understand and manage their health and wellbeing. These include books on topics such as dealing with stress and anxiety, specific learning difficulties including dyslexia and dyspraxia, and sexuality and relationships. Within Shelf Help there is also a loneliness section where you can find links to books on Library Search which can be borrowed or browsed in the library including:
Navigating Loneliness by Cheryl Rickman
The Cure for Loneliness by Bill Howatt
There is also a link to the ‘The Lonely Hour’ podcast where Julia Bainbridge aims to de-stigmatize loneliness by discussing the importance of finding joy in solitude and connecting with yourself. https://libguides.napier.ac.uk/c.php?g=653422&p=4968443
During Mental Health Awareness Week there will be displays in each ENU Library promoting the Shelf Help collection where you will be able to find books related to loneliness and other mental health topics. Please feel free to borrow the books from the displays!
Here are other ways that can help to tackle loneliness:
· There are group study rooms available for collaborative study at resourcebooker.napier.ac.uk. Studying together can help gain fresh insights into sharing knowledge!
· Join a club, class or even a society! This provides a sense of belonging and awakens that creative spirit. Edinburgh Napier’s Student Association holds societies to meet new people with similar interests. Find more information about the different societies at https://www.napierstudents.com/teamnapiersocieties/atozsocieties/
· Self-care, such as exercise, meeting friends and family, sleep and eating nutritiously have physical and emotional benefits to improving your well-being. You can check out resources
on the library blog for further support and building resistance https://blogs.napier.ac.uk/library/virtual-relaxation-space/
See the My Napier webpages for more information on Counselling and Wellbeing Support provided by the University.
Edinburgh Napier University support:
Counsellors and Mental Health Advisers
0131 455 2459 firstname.lastname@example.org
Emergency and Out of Hours Contacts
See the My Napier webpages for a full list of useful emergency & out of hours contacts.
By Jemma Lidgard and Sarah Jeffcott