The Union of Students in Ireland Launch Mental Health Text Line
Just text USI to 086 1800 280 to speak to a trained volunteer!
On Monday, 18th November the Union of Students in Ireland launched a mental health text line for students that aims to connect texters with a volunteer, who has been trained to listen, reassure and guide people from a hot moment to a cool calm. All conversations are anonymous, unless the texter wants to give their name, and are reviewed in real time by a team of qualified staff supervisors who will support volunteers to listen to and support texters.
Research found that among students who participated in the USI National Report on Student Mental Health in Third Level Education, just under a third had received a formal diagnosis of their mental health. Most of these students received a diagnosis of depression [74%] and anxiety [73.5%].
USI President, Lorna Fitzpatrick said:
“This is such an important resource for students, anxiety and depression is something that an uncountable amount of students suffer from on a day to day basis. In the USI National Report on Student Mental Health in Third Level Education, we found that 34.4% of students were put on a waiting list for counselling services for at least one week, this text line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While a fifth [20.9%] of students reported not having someone to talk to about personal and emotional difficulties.
We encourage all students to seek help and practice daily self care, as third level education is such a trying time between college deadlines, study, part-time work and maintaining family and friend relationships.”
Once a student texts USI to 086 1800 280, a trained volunteer will introduce themselves, reflect on what the student has said, and invite them to share at their own pace. They will text back and forth, only sharing what they feel comfortable with. By asking questions, listening to them and responding with support, the volunteers will help students sort through their feelings until they feel they are now in a calm, safe place. Students may be provided with some signposting to other services offered by our partner organisations, so that you can continue to get support.
Our text message support service could help with urgent issues such as:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Abuse or assault
- Relationship breakdown
Text USI to 086 1800 280 to begin. Standard SMS rates may apply.