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"Raising awareness to encourage students to seek help sooner"

The University of East Anglia’s Headucate have an exciting gala event planned in aid of Beat next year! Find out about what they’re up to.

Tell us about your society.

Headucate: University of East Anglia are a university student-led society, founded in 2012 to raise awareness of mental health in local schools. Since then, we’ve started societies at UCL, the University of Birmingham and University of Cambridge. Now, we also spend time advocating on campus, facilitating discussion about the identity-defining factors of our lives and the impact on our mental health, for example, religion and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, with our Mind & Melanin discussion panels. Later this academic year, we are hosting UEA’s first ever student mental health conference, aiming to equip our students to support themselves and their peers.

Why did you choose to fundraise for Beat?

We are fundraising for Beat to raise awareness of the prevalence and seriousness of eating disorders on campus. Eating disorders are especially common amongst teenagers and young adults – here at university this is no different. We’ve seen the death of several students at universities this year from mental health conditions including eating disorders. We hope by raising awareness, we’ll encourage students to seek help sooner, as earlier support can prevent the illness taking over your life. Stigma surrounding mental health, although less of a problem than years gone by, is still not fully stamped out; we hope to educate students in the importance of recognising eating disorders and mental health conditions as just as important and debilitating as physical illness.

What do you have planned?

We are planning a ‘Night of Wonders’ Gala evening celebrating the best of our university’s talent, with performances from ten societies including Burlesque, Stand-up comedy Headlights, Showchoir, Tap, Cheerdance, Salsa, Dance squad, Bellydance, Live Music, Jazz Collective and UEA drag queens! We’ll also hold a raffle with dozens of prizes donated by local businesses, a name-the-teddy featuring Norwich’s Nightline branch, entertainment with Sexpression: UEA, roaming magicians, henna artists and photographers to take photos of guests and live streaming by UEA: TV, all organised by our wonderful students. We hope by collaborating with a wide variety of societies we will reach a broad range of our student demographic.

Beat’s community fundraising team have been super helpful in supporting us with this event – we can’t wait to host you at the event and raise money and awareness together!

And if you’re a university student interested in founding a Headucate branch at your university, email (or follow @headucate_UEA for our Instagram, or find us on Facebook!).