Union of Students in Ireland Launches ReCharge Campaign and +Connections App in response to concerns over student mental health

Press Notice:

  • Date: Monday 12th (Photocall 1pm, Launch 12 Noon)
  • Location: UCC (Room G06, Brookfield Campus)
  • Organisations: USI, HSE, Department of Health
  • Minister with special responsibility for Mental Health Jim Daly will be in to launch the +Connections Mental Health App and National student ‘Recharge’ Mental Health Week
  • Photocall will include Minister, students, and HSE representative at 1pm


The Union of Students in Ireland, with the support of the HSE, alongside Minister Jim Daly, Minister with special responsibility for mental health will be launching the ‘ReCharge’ mental health campaign and ‘+Connections’ mental health support app in University College Cork on November 12th.

The ‘ReCharge’ campaign is a campaign to empower and encourage students to seek support and take time to recharge their mental health.

USI President Síona Cahill stated:

“The importance of striving to improve mental health services at third level year on year cannot be stressed enough. The Union of Students in Ireland have always and will always host national Mental Health campaigns due to the severity of the situation and to promote wellbeing in the student population who are in particular risk given the age cohort.

In a mental health survey, set to launch early 2019, we found when those surveyed were asked had they experienced mental health difficulties in the past 12 months 1084 (32%) said that they had often and 568 (17%) said all the time. A whopping 24% of those surveyed said they were unaware of on campus services for mental health, +Connection is an app that will reduce this percentage substantially with the ‘Mapping Feature’ which will list supports in each college categorically by location.”

Speaking on this, USI Vice President for Welfare; Damien McClean said:

“Much like recharging our phone batteries, we need to ReCharge our mental health and wellness. Students across Ireland have limited amount of energy due to college and work commitments, and we are saying it’s okay to take time to recharge yourself.”

Speaking about the campaign, Assistant National Director for Mental Health Operations, Jim Ryan said:

“HSE Mental Health is delighted to fund the development of the ReCharge Campaign. We know the student population is aware of mental health but we wanted to work with USI to create a campaign that would not only signpost to available supports and services but would focus on building resilience. This campaign reinforces messages within our Little Things mental health campaign that there are small everyday things that will make a positive impact on our mental health. We know students are busy but things like regular study breaks, drinking less and getting enough sleep are things that can make a big difference to them. This campaign forms part of our efforts to deliver on our commitments under Connecting for Life, the national suicide prevention strategy.”

USI will also be showcasing the new ‘+Connections’ app. This app will feature functions that promote positive mental health and provide connections to various support services.

The app will be launching with the following features:

  • How to support a friend: Informative pathways to help someone to be an active listener to a friend
  • Mapping Feature: List of supports in each college and external support services available to students
  • Blogging Tool: A place where students can read contributions by different students in relation to mental health

ENDS

Notes:

  • Find the link to EventBrite for tickets to attend HERE
  • The ReCharge campaign is a joint initiative between USI and HSE Mental Health
  • USI have created the ReCharge campaign to outline how students can be burned out and suffer with their mental health to various degrees
  • Recent concerns raised about student counselling services were highlighted in Cork’s Evening echo here.
  • USI will be running various mental health campaigns throughout the year to ensure students are taking care of their minds year-round

Conact:

Aoife Duff

Public Relations & Communications Manager

Union of Students in Ireland

M: 086 1303 101

E: pr@usi.ie