This project undertaken while I worked at the Students' Union was initiated by the response from UAL students who had/were suffering mental health problems that they felt unsupported by the University. Alongside UAL having a high proportion of International Students who often didn't know where to go to for support, or unaware of the, often free, support and treatment they could receive.
The Zine was a collaboration between our Welfare Officer, Graphic Designer, External Illustrator and myself. I was responsible for copy-writing the Zine, which is something that I really enjoyed doing; as someone with a lifelong passion for writing and commitment to destigmatising mental illness and supporting others.
Since it's release, both in print and digital, response and feedback from students has been overwhelming. We received messages saying how much the Zine had helped, supported and comforted them in dark times, or helped them to support a friend. These are definitely messages I look back on on a rainy day myself!
The success of the Mental Wellbeing Zine led not only to more well supported students, but also a cross-platform mental health campaign implemented by myself that resulted in UAL pledging an additional £250,000 to support students' mental health. Other Students' Unions have also been in contact with us on how we compiled and created the Zine, recognition of the Students' Union itself increased and similar Zines were also commissioned and produced, including the International Students' Guide.