We had the opportunity to speak to founder of Stop The World, Lauren Gillett. A blog site designed to give young adults and academics a place to visit when they are feeling a little bit overwhelmed. At Collabco we fully support all individuals and companies looking to make positive changes to the health and well-being of students as we understand how important this is for overall success. This is Lauren's story, views and plans for the future.
"Stop The World was started in March 2016. I had been diagnosed (with depression) in the February, about a year after I had graduated. After starting a graduate programme, I realised there was something wrong, I basically dropped out after a year and had this really weird deterioration in terms of my physical and mental health.
I put up a Facebook status explaining that I had depression. It was hard to say but if nobody talks about it then it will never get any better. I got a really positive response and from then I shared two blog posts. It became really apparent from the feedback that it was something that people really wanted to hear about, so ever since, I used it as a mechanism to talk about everything from mental health to life past university and employment. It just became something that is part of me and that is where Stop The World came from."
Lauren created a platform for herself to vent and express feelings to those who may feel the same way, and especially in the last few years, it seems that more people than we ever could imagine have wanted to hear these types of stories because they are going through the same experience.
We wanted to find out how Stop The World is connecting with students and young adults to get them involved, or even just speak out about how they feel.
"Stop The World has really just been the blog and didn’t have much commercial value in it before. However, now we are starting to see that it really needs to be something more than just writing about it. Our main platform is Instagram which we started in June. We are also looking to get some student ambassadors on board and potentially run some workshops in universities. There is me and two of my very good friends who are teachers. It is still a work in progress at the moment, but now we are registered as a business, there is much more to come.
Our plan this month was to do with university and freshers with a lot of content around starting at university, all the way up to graduating and feeling lost or a bit of a failure if you haven’t got a job. So, that’s kind of the initial plan at the moment. Instagram is the best way we are currently reaching our target audience, as well as getting the best feedback on the blogs. We are a featured guest on a radio show in North Yorkshire and are looking to expand in that channel. It’s the initial conversation we are trying to start which is the best way, it is just finding different avenues to do that."
It seems that it isn't just Lauren who has realised how much of a huge impact mental health is having on young academics attending University. She spoke about how test and ranking scores are now being affected by answers from alumni who give their opinion on the institutions preparation for them leaving university in the right frame of mind.
"Universities are starting to ring up alumni 13 months after leaving university instead of 6 months which is a huge difference. Some of the questions they are asking could say something like ‘how anxious are you feeling’ and ‘how well do you think university has prepared you for working’
Those two questions are very angled to mental health, and essentially how well university looks after you whilst there and afterwards. If universities haven’t prepared students for it and later down the line they experience mental health issues it means that those scores will affect their ranking."
If you have any questions for Lauren and her team, do not hesitate to visit the website here.