Mental Health Awareness Week 2024: Moving More for Our Mental Health at the University of Stirling 

Students relaxing on the grass, having a picnic with Airthrey Loch and Wallace monument in the background.

The University of Stirling is proud to support Mental Health Awareness Week 2024, taking place from 13 to 19 May. This year’s theme, “Movement: Moving more for our mental health”, highlights the crucial role physical activity plays in promoting mental well-being. As a university renowned for its stunning campus environment and top-notch sporting facilities, we encourage our students to take advantage of the numerous opportunities available to stay active and support their mental health. 

Our Campus 

Our 330-acre campus, consistently ranked among the best in the UK and the world, provides an ideal setting for engaging in physical activity and connecting with nature. The campus is home to a beautiful loch surrounded by lush green trees, creating a serene environment for walks, jogs, or simply relaxing. Research has shown that exposure to green spaces can reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function (Bratman et al., 2019). With 98.5% student satisfaction with our campus environment, it’s clear that our students appreciate the benefits of our beautiful surroundings. 

One of the best ways to explore our campus is by taking advantage of our trail routes, designed for walking, jogging, or running. From the easy 1.7km Spittal Hill Woods trail to the more challenging 5km Campus 5k, there’s a route for every fitness level. These trails offer the chance to enjoy stunning views of the Wallace Monument, Ochil Hills, and our peaceful campus loch while getting your heart rate up and releasing endorphins, the body’s natural mood-boosters (Mikkelsen et al., 2017). 

Our Gym Facilities 

For those seeking more structured exercise, our world-class sports facilities, ranked 1st in the UK and top 5 in the world, provide ample opportunities. Our indoor facilities include a sports hall, tennis courts, a gym, a cycling studio, and squash courts, while our outdoor facilities feature artificial pitches and an athletics track. The gym is equipped with state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment, and the swimming pool is home to our Olympian swimmers. Participating in sports and group fitness classes not only promotes physical health but also fosters social connections and a sense of community, which are vital for mental well-being (Chekroud et al., 2018). 

Our Food Facilities 

After a workout, students can refuel at one of our many on-campus restaurants, bars, and delis. With options like the plant-based SUP, the noodle bar at Umami, and the American-style diner Refresh, there’s something to satisfy every craving. Scran offers a wide range of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options, while Pathfood features international cuisine themes throughout the week. Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is essential for maintaining good mental health, as certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, have been linked to improved mood and cognitive function (Firth et al., 2020). 

Our Arts and Culture Facilities 

For those seeking a more leisurely way to unwind, we have a variety of cultural treasures including the Macrobert Arts Centre which offers a variety of movies, stage shows, and events. Engaging in creative and cultural activities has also been shown to reduce stress, increase self-esteem, and promote overall well-being (Fancourt & Finn, 2019). 

Our campus provides an exceptional environment for students to prioritise their mental health through physical activity, connection with nature, and engagement with the arts. The beautiful loch, surrounded by trees, and the extensive sports facilities create an ideal setting for movement and self-care. The diverse range of food options on campus also supports mental well-being by providing opportunities for healthy eating. As we observe Mental Health Awareness Week 2024, we encourage all students to take advantage of these resources and make movement a regular part of their self-care routine. Remember, taking care of your mental health is just as important as your academic pursuits, and our campus is here to support you every step of the way. 


Bratman, G. N., Anderson, C. B., Berman, M. G., Cochran, B., De Vries, S., Flanders, J., … & Daily, G. C. (2019). Nature and mental health: An ecosystem service perspective. Science advances, 5(7), eaax0903. 

Chekroud, S. R., Gueorguieva, R., Zheutlin, A. B., Paulus, M., Krumholz, H. M., Krystal, J. H., & Chekroud, A. M. (2018). Association between physical exercise and mental health in 1· 2 million individuals in the USA between 2011 and 2015: a cross-sectional study. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5(9), 739-746. 

Fancourt, D., & Finn, S. (2019). What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? A scoping review. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe. 

Firth, J., Gangwisch, J. E., Borisini, A., Wootton, R. E., & Mayer, E. A. (2020). Food and mood: how do diet and nutrition affect mental wellbeing?. BMJ, 369. 

Mikkelsen, K., Stojanovska, L., Polenakovic, M., Bosevski, M., & Apostolopoulos, V. (2017). Exercise and mental health. Maturitas, 106, 48-56. 

Theme by the University of Stirling