On October 1st, a new charitable organization within St Andrews launched their Facebook–B&Together, Instagram–@bandtogether.uk and website–www.band-together.co.uk. Band Together is a student led nonprofit which seeks to create a nationwide movement to de-stigmatize mental health through fundraising and education. All too frequently, signs of those suffering are missed or mishandled, and it is Band Together’s prerogative to change that president. The nonprofit’s core mission is to create a nationwide movement all about not being afraid to talk and listen. Through their platforms, the organization will raise awareness for mental health among Britain’s student population whilst raising money for the UK mental health charities BEAT and YoungMinds. The team will work to deliver accessible knowledge and guidance, informed by world leading research and proven practical application, to the St Andrews’ student population as well as their branches across other UK universities.
The St Andrews’ Band Together team now totals 13 members, and the nonprofit organization is present at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Leeds and Bath. Each branch is coordinated through the St Andrews branch which manufactures events and better mental health services at each respective University. Founded and led by St Andrews student Xavy Bull, along with directors Willa Robertson and Hannah Mcloughlin, the team will be using the Band Together website and platforms to share blog posts and articles with the goal of encouraging students to develop an accurate, educated and honest understanding of mental health. The nonprofit wants to cultivate a discussion about mental health through encouraging members of our community to submit blog posts to their website–allowing students to voice their opinions and normalize getting help. The team hopes to pave the way to collectively as a nation normalizing problems which we all face day to day. These platforms are not just for those suffering from mental health issues but for anyone who is concerned for a loved one or those who simply wish to learn more about mental health.
On their website, Band Together’s Connect Service includes extensive lists of mental health services at a national and university wide level. The nonprofit recognizes that sometimes it is difficult to speak to your university, so they have insured that their platform offers alternatives to university services. These services include crisis centers along with non-urgent but in need of help platforms where students can seek support, guidance and reassurance for themselves and others. The Connect Service also lists national service platforms to learn about and aid specific mental health issues.
Hand in hand with Band Together’s education, connection and band manufacturing initiatives, the nonprofit sells T-shirts which feature the designs of young and coming student artists. T-shirt releases will happen in batches with designs changing every four months, allowing many young artists to showcase their work. Both the T-shirts and wrist bands sold on the Band Together website are completely sustainable. Products will only be manufactured once orders are confirmed, meaning that there will be zero wasted products.
With 1 in 6 of us experiencing mental health problems every week, Band Together’s vision is to provide a place where each person’s silent fears can be heard, accepted and reassured. Through awareness and connection, the nonprofit hopes to help society change by caring for and confiding in one another–we need to band together to confront mental health.