The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have encouraged students to reach out to someone and avail of support this World Mental Health Day. A full listing of college support services is available on PleaseTalk.ie.
Many Students’ Unions across the country are running events and campaigns today to mark World Mental Health Day, and Welfare Officers in Students’ Unions are available to listen and offer peer support to any students in need of help.
Following the hugely successful Mental Health Reform campaign where 21,000 people signed a petition calling on Minister Kathleen Lynch to ensure the €35m of funding committed for community mental health services is allocated and spent, USI congratulate the work carried out on this campaign and encourage the Minister to act in delivering these crucially important services.
The USI will be launching a new multi-faceted mental health campaign entitled ‘More Talk, More Action’ next month with the support of several mental health organisations including Headstrong,See Change, ReachOut, HeadsUp and St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services. Headstrong has also been selected as USI’s National Charity for this year.
USI Vice-President for Welfare, Denise McCarthy said:
“Mental health is part of all of our stories. We all have good days and bad, and its okay not to feel okay. Today, on World Mental Health Day, make the time and space to reach out and speak to friends, classmates and family members and ask how they’re doing. Talking is a sign of strength so if you are feeling low, seek support right away, as there is no need to feel alone. There is always someone there to listen and provide support. ”
USI President, Joe O’Connor said:
“We would like to remind the Minister that cutbacks in student financial supports have had an extremely adverse impact on the wellbeing of many students in recent years. A study conducted by The Irish League of Credit Unions estimated that 1 in 12 students may drop out as a result of financial concerns. This underlines the importance of protecting the student maintenance grant in the upcoming Budget to ensure we do not impose further financial worry on our most vulnerable.
With the demand for college mental health and counselling services increasing, it is also hugely important that in trying to deliver efficiencies and reforms in Higher Education through cuts to core funding, students in need are not deprived of access to these vital services due to disproportionate cuts to their funding by Universities and Institutes of Technology.”
USI has developed a Mental Health Directory containing a list of mental health support services in Ireland. Download here.
For more information contact Communications and Research Executive Grainne O Reilly on 087 6776636 or 01 9052100