Instagram mental health campaign targets freshers

Celebrities and social media influencers take part in a charity campaign aimed at addressing mental health problems faced by young people when they start university.

Joe Lepper | 28th Sep 18

Two mental health charities have launched a campaign on Instagram aimed at supporting the emotional wellbeing of University freshers.

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), which supports men at risk of suicide, and The Mix, a crisis support charity for young people, have created an Instagram zine to help those starting university feel more emotionally secure.

Last year The Mix saw a 160% increase in people asking for help about university in the period after their freshers week.

The zine includes features from celebrities includes singer-songwriter Lucy Spraggan, as well as social media influencers such as Grace Beverley, Ashleigh Ponder and Jack Edwards.

Spraggan will be encouraging students to embrace new university experiences, while food blogger Ponder will be giving helpful cooking tips for students.

This latest zine sits on the Instagram accounts of CALM and The Mix and is the second of the charities’ five part #Gramfam Instagram series, which focuses on mental health flashpoints in the academic year. The first looked at handling stress when exam results are published and a third is due for release in December.

GramFam stands for Instagram Family and has been developed to help students and young people feel like they are not alone regarding mental health issues.

Freshers are vulnerable to mental health problems

“Leaving home for the first time and getting to grips with new surroundings and people, coupled with the hectic and often hedonistic Freshers Week, can be hard to navigate,” said CALM Chief Executive Officer Simon Gunning.

“That’s why we’ve worked with Instagram and The Mix to bring together a host of familiar faces to share messages of support for young people during what should be a positive and exciting time in their lives.”

Chris Martin, The Mix Chief Executive Officer, added: “Going to uni is an amazing opportunity to learn, meet new friends and step into independent life but last year we saw a big increase in the number of students visiting The Mix who had struggled to find their feet in their first weeks.

“With this latest issue of #GramFam, we want to make sure all students have access to all the advice and support they need before they start their courses. We’re really excited to be working with CALM and Instagram to bring the #GramFam family together again to promote good mental health and a great start for everyone beginning student life.”