Students are tackling the issue of mental health and reminding students that Talking is a sign of strength and that there is support available on campus and off campus no matter where you are located in Ireland. Recently Please Talk released funding to student groups to run mental health initiatives on their campus. Below is a short description of what some of the upcoming events are.
UCD VET Soc – Please Talk Zen Garden
We are very excited to be working on a Please Talk Zen Garden that will be a serene space at the heart of the UCD campus to be enjoyed by the whole UCD community. We plan to convert the large, green courtyard space in the UCD Veterinary Building into a quiet zen/rest/relaxation space complete with ‘Please Talk’ benches, signposting to support services, positive mental health quotes, reclining chairs and garden lights. This will provide places to sit and chat with others, read, meditate, and spend time in self-care. For example The Please Talk logo, tagline ‘Talking is a Sign of Strength’ and other phrases encouraging positive mental health, such as ‘if you are ever feeling down, lonely or afraid remember that it’s okay to talk and tell others how you feel’, printed on colourful, weatherproof material and tied to branches and placed around the garden to remind students they are not alone.
The space will also be a functioning garden, with an area to grow vegetables, fruit and herbs. Students will work together on growing things that can be harvested and used in cooking. The soil-to-fork narrative will feature strongly in this part of the project, encouraging others to eat and live well, highlighting the connection between nutrition and well-being.
We have now started planning and aim to have the Please Talk Zen Garden finished by Summer 2019.
UCD Youth Mental Health Lab
The UCD Youth Mental Health Lab is hosting an exhibition of our current research that applies to the lives of students and young people. The exhibition will take place in April, in the UCD Student Centre and in an Cuas in the Newman Building.
Our research covers a broad range of issues in youth mental health, including body image, stigma, resilience, help-seeking, sexual health and youth mental health services. Students will have the opportunity to read posters on our research in these areas and talk to the researchers who are involved in each project. By doing this, we are hoping to bridge the gap between our research and young people in UCD understanding their own mental health.
Mental health is the number one health issue for young people worldwide. Talking about your mental health is hugely important, and a list of support services is available on pleasetalk.org
Maynooth University MHS
This random act of kindness campaign is running for the academic year of 18/19 and entails blowing students away with kind actions on campus. In return we call on them to be kind to themselves, be kind to each other and look after their mental health. We’ve also been asking them to post the kind acts they receive and remind students that talking is a sign of strength and being kind to each other really helps if we need to talk about our mental health problems. While handing out freebies and goodies, we take the opportunity to signpost services and to distribute literature which may be helpful to students struggling with their mental health or general stress. This campaign gives us the opportunity to drive more engagement than ever before with a positive, stigma ending, mental health message across campus.
DCU Mental Health Society
DCU Mental Health Society will be sharing the stories of mental health of our students. These stories will also be accompanied by a weekly podcast and blog. The aim of this campaign is to ignite a conversation about mental health and encourage people to talk about their own mental health. Ideally, this campaign will normalise talking about mental health and will give people the courage to speak out about their own mental health and know that Talking is a sign of strength and that support is available so don’t suffer on your own.
UCC Student’s Union
Are organising a photo and video campaign of college students in UCC. The aim of the campaign is to highlight people hiding their mental health and encourage people to check if they ‘can see it’ with their friends. While knowing where to signpost students in need to support available on-campus and off-campus. Keep an eye on social media to see this take off.