In advance of Mental Health Awareness Week in May the School of Architecture and Design held a very successful Mental Health Evening. In collaboration with the Architects Benevolent Society this was a unique opportunity to discuss stress and well-being within the field of Architecture and get a better understanding of how to help yourself when things get tough.

The event was buzzing with 56 students and staff attending. We listened to interesting talks from The Architects Benevolent Society whose representatives explained the history of how the charity works to support Architects in practice. Then specifically how they can practically engage with students through their partnership with Anxiety UK to support for students on architecture, architectural technology or landscape architecture courses, who are experiencing anxiety, stress or anxiety-based depression.

We then listened to M’Arch student and ABS ambassador Una Haran  about how making your own sensory first aid kit can help at moments when stress becomes overwhelming. This is a portable kit of items that are unique to you and which stimulate the five senses to provide positive emotional triggers. It can be use at any time – from everyday stress to crisis. We then heard from our School of Architecture and Design Student Support and Guidance Tutor, Justine Devenney about understanding the Mental Health Continuum and how to seek support sooner rather than later.

However the evening was not all about listening –  whilst enjoying drinks and snacks students and staff got to vote for the three most popular designs in a T shirt competition which has been running in the past few weeks. Students submitted their won designs aimed at challenging negative stereotypes that exist around mental health and studying architecture. There were three clear winners whose designs will now be printed on t shirts and sold to help raise money for the end of year show.

To find out more about The Architects Benevolent Society Anxiety Arch Campaign see link http://absnet.org.uk/news/anxietyarch-campaign

To contact Justine Devenney email j.devenney@brighton.ac.uk