USI has partnered with ReachOut, Please Talk and HeadsUp this week to launch a Mental Health Awareness Week.

 

The week-long series of events will be launched in University College Cork at 12pm, Monday 21st of November. Guest speakers will include Joan Freeman, CEO of Pieta House, Derek Chambers, Director of Programmes & Policy for Inspire Ireland, and Collette Ryan, Project Manager with HeadsUp Rehab’s mental health promotion Project.

A central theme of the week is to deliver practical ideas to students as to how to look after their mental health. Thousands of USI mental health packs will be distributed to colleges across the country incorporating a ‘What’s Your Tip?’ campaign which will encourage students to write down their top tip for students in getting through college. The pack also includes a postcard, a HeadsUp pen, a Reach Out bookmark and a Please Talk badge.

It is hoped that this pack will encourage students to express what it is that gets them through college during difficult times and what advice they would give to fellow students.

Suicide for 18 - 24 years old is the biggest killer and we hope this campaign will create positive mental health within the student community.

USI President, Gary Redmond, said:

Mental health has always been a priority for USI but even more so in the current economic climate. With all the doom and gloom in the current economic climate, students are experiencing increased levels of stress.

I am delighted that USI is working with Inspire Ireland, Heads Up and Please Talk in facing these challenges. The “What’s Your Tip” campaign is just one small part of our overall commitment to tackling mental health issues. “

Collette Ryan, HeadsUp Project manager, added:

“HeadsUp is delighted to work with USI and Reach Out in the development of this mental health pack. We acknowledge third level colleges as a very important place to engage with our target group of young people in supporting them in dealing with life’s ups and downs. We want to ensure students know where to go for help and encourage them to look out for each other. This year’s ‘What’s Your Tip’ theme is really good idea in encouraging peer support and learning as this can have a really positive impact on mental health and well-being.”

Derek Chambers, Director of Programmes & Policy for Inspire Ireland contributed:

“There has been a really important positive change in attitudes to mental health in recent years, driven by younger people, and we must continue to encourage and promote that positive change so that nobody is left to feel alone, without anywhere to reach out to. There is help and support out there, not just through formal services but in everyday settings from family and friends and online through services like ReachOut.com.”