All jokes aside, how are you doing?
It's easy to laugh it off when someone asks how you are, or you're experiencing difficulties with your mental health. Men often struggle to talk about issues and feeling low, or don't feel heard when they communicate.
At TeamUCL, we want to rewrite the narrative. Our campaign 'All Jokes Aside' aims to support male-identifying students at UCL to meaningfully engage in activities to support their mental health and wellbeing.
This landing page forms a key part of the campaign, serving as a hub for events, programmes and resources to support students' mental health.
We recognise that gender is experienced and expressed in a variety of ways, and that 'male-identifying' may not represent the identities of every student that All Jokes Aside is for. Trans and non-binary students who identify with maleness are encouraged to take part in this campaign.
Want to find out more about All Jokes Aside? Email [email protected] with any questions.
Men's Health Active
Men's Health Active is a programme of weekly sports, fitness and activity sessions to support your mental wellbeing, starting in January 2024.
TeamUCL Talk Club
Talk club is a talking and listening group for male-identifying students, which aims to support mental wellbeing.
It's centred around four questions; a check in with how you're feeling out of 10, something you're grateful for, what you're going to do to support your mental wellbeing in the next week, and a check out, again how you're feeling out of 10.
These sessions offer a space for men to speak openly and be listened to. It's not an advice group, but rather a way to sound out highs and lows, or just how you're doing at that moment, in a confidential space.
TeamUCL are running Talk Club sessions, for all male-identifying students at UCL, from December 2023 to April 2024. Book your spot using the What's On Calendar events below, or by following this link.
Student Support and Wellbeing at UCL
UCL Student Support, and Wellbeing and Students' Union UCL Advice, can support you in a number of ways.
Student Support and Wellbeing
Students' Union UCL Advice Service
Suicidal thoughts can range from thinking about ending your life, in abstract or specific ways, to thinking that people would be better off without you. It can be scary and confusing having these feelings, but you're not alone. Below are some resources for emergency support if you're having suicidal thoughts.
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 0800 689 5652
- HOPELINEUK - 0800 068 141
- Find a local urgent mental health helpline (NHS)
- Urgent support for mental health (NHS)
- What to do if you're having suicidal thoughts (UCL)
- What to do if a student tells you that they may be suicidal (UCL)
- Suicide prevention and support homepage (UCL)
Mental Health Charities
Samaritans have a phoneline that is open 24 hours for anyone who is struggling to cope and needs to be listened to without judgement. You can call any time, for free, on 116 123.
Talk Club developed the talk and listen format that TeamUCL delivers at UCL, and have now expanded to talk and exercise sessions and therapy groups. Head to their website to find sessions in your local area.
Shout run a 24 hour listening service over text, and have over 2000 trained volunteers who can support with feelings of suicide, depression, anxiety and loneliness. Text 'SHOUT' to 85258 to have a free, confidential conversation.
HopelineUK is a service run by Papyrus for people under 35 who are thinking about suicide, or for those that are concerned about a young person. Their phoneline is open 24 hours a day - 0800 068 141.
Camden Crisis Sanctuary is a free walk-in service for residents of Camden Borough who are over 18. They offer a safe place for people in mental health crisis or distress to access support. Alternatively, you can phone their team during open hours.
CALM is a leading movement against male suicide, and stands for the Campaign Against Living Miserably. They run events, training sessions and offer support services to encourage everyone to talk about their mental health.
Mind provide advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They have pioneered the landscape, and are leaders in developing resources, raising awareness and campaigning.
Volunteering and mental health
Volunteering can have a significant and positive impact on mental health, through making new friends, keeping mentally active, improving confidence, and the intrinsic value of supporting others (Royal Voluntary Service & Mental Health Foundation).
At Students' Union UCL, 76% of our volunteers reported that their happiness and general wellbeing had improved due to volunteering. You can find out more about the benefits that our students experienced from volunteering in these articles.
If you'd like to explore volunteering opportunities at UCL, head to our Volunteering homepage to get started.