Reflections on an NTU employability placement
This article was written by Georgia Lidster, an English and Media Undergraduate at Nottingham Trent University. She joined Counselling West Bridgford to help make sense of the loneliness research results.
A passion for ending stigma
When I first heard about Michelle’s loneliness campaign, I jumped at the chance of potentially being involved. I have a passion for ending the stigma around mental illness, and ending certain embarrassments about feeling lonely, especially in underrepresented groups, such as young people and men of all ages.
Reacting to the results
Although I was fairly knowledgeable about the subject of loneliness, I was shocked by some of the results that we came across. The first one being that young people, especially young men, are the loneliest group; as I am within this category of young people aged between 18-34, I did not expect this to be the case as I do not particularly struggle with this myself, however this has opened my eyes a lot to just how much of an issue loneliness in young people really is.
Inspired to action
My initial thoughts led me to believe that men would be the loneliest because of the stigma that surrounds men being open and honest with their mental health, however I still found it surprising that it was the youngest people (from the survey) that struggled the most. Finding out this information has made me open my eyes and check up on my friends a lot more than I probably previously did, but also has made me want to make a bigger change to help people not feel like this.
This placement has taught me a lot about workplace projects and working in a professional environment with a reputable growing business, especially with Michelle and Jade, who have been my mentors throughout this whole experience and have taught me so much about project management, how to arrange data and how to create infographics, which were such scary concepts to me before I entailed on this journey with them. This experience has also enabled me to gain self-confidence and, in a lot of aspects, maturity due to the amount of responsibility that they allowed me to have, which I am ever so grateful for.