You would be mistaken for thinking Zizzi is all about amazing pasta and pizza – and you wouldn’t be wrong! But did you know they also support The Mental Health Foundation as their charity partner?

In recognition of World Mental Health Day 2022, they have released a video with Eve Bennett as part of their ‘Conversations with…’ series. We see Eve sitting down for a delicious Zizzi meal with Miles Carabine, the Project Co-Ordinator from The Mental Health Foundation.

Eve is a student and opens up to Miles about how overwhelming she found starting university and not feeling the way she thought she should. She started to overcompensate by keeping busy and drinking but them feeling super-lonely when she was on her own. Eve experienced feelings of loneliness despite being surrounded by friends and having a supportive family back home but eventually she couldn’t cope anymore and finally realised she needed help. She now realises how much help was available to her and wishes she had spoken up sooner – the first step was the hardest and mental health struggles shouldn’t be a taboo subject.

Thankfully, Eve found support at her university and sought advice about how to manage her wellbeing including therapy, reducing social media usage and making lifestyle changes. Eve is an advocate of self-care consistently and talking to organisations such as The Mental Health Foundation  to speak to experts as well as other students going through mental health challenges.  With 75% of mental health problems starting before the age of 24 and 75% of students hiding their mental health, having open, honest chats with friends, family and university staff whilst at university is really so important.

Behind the Books is a campaign by The Mental Health Foundation about creating meaningful connections encouraging students to connect with people in different ways. They have created a resource of tips and advice of how to do this including eating nourishing food and nourishing relationships.

So, grab your friends, put your phones away and sit down over some great quality food and really chat together. Connections like this are so much more meaningful than snatched chats in a bar over a beer or at the end of a lecture. Make sure you are really listening to each other and those connections will blossom into a space to open up.

Written by Sarah Canning – Senior Student Accommodation Features Editor