The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) today distributed 20,000 Student Support Cards with contact details for suicide and self-harm prevention services, such as Aware, Pieta House, Walk in my Shoes, the Samaritans, and LGBT Helpline for students during their Christmas exams. USI also partnered with PleaseTalk, ReachOut.com and Jigsaw who operate on third-level campuses across Ireland. The campaign is in response to a USI study showing that 61% of students are experiencing burnout attending third level education while 27% of students in college have dropped out due to stress.
Speaking on Trinity College Dublin campus, USI President, Michael Kerrigan, said,
“Exam time can lead to burnout and high levels of stress for students at this time of year. While the days are getting darker, and Christmas can sometimes be a tough time for students, we’re hoping our Student Support Card can be a reminder for students that there are free services available for them, or their friends, if they want to talk. Talking is a sign of strength, and being there for each other is what makes a campus a strong community.”
Speaking about the launch of the card today, HSE National Director for Mental Health Services, Ms. Anne O’Connor said,
“We are delighted to support initiatives like this that offer practical sign posting for students. Our Little Things campaign to promote positive mental health was designed to remind all of us of the simple and powerful day-to-day steps that we can all take to protect our own mental health, and support the people we care about. It’s vitally important that students remember that sleeping and eating well, taking regular breaks and talking about their problems are all proven to have a positive impact on their mental health. This initiative forms part of our efforts to deliver on our commitments under Connecting for Life, the national suicide prevention strategy.”
USI is urging students to visit their Students’ Union to pick up a Student Support Card and to put these cards in their wallets incase they experience mental health difficulties or wish to support a friend in need of support during exams or Christmas holiday.
If you need support during your Christmas exams please contact:
- Samaritans – 116 123
- Aware – 1800 80 48 48
- Pieta House – 1800 247 247
- Walk In My Shoes – 01 249 33 33
- LGBT Helpline – 1890 929 539
- Bodywhys – 1890 200 444