Galway’s Student Unions join forces for Mental Health awareness campaign

Galway Daily news Galway Student Unions join forces for mental health campaign

The Students’ Unions at NUI Galway and GMIT have joined forces for ‘Mental Health Mondays’, a new awareness campaign.

The awareness campaign, which launched today, will look at a different theme affecting students’ mental health each week.

Topics the campaign will cover include settling into college, substance abuse, self-esteem, gambling, mental health supports and looking after your mental health.

Clare Austick, Welfare and Equality Officer of NUIG SU claims the stigma around talking about your mental health isn’t helping to tackle the issue.

“When you think of physical health, everyone immediately thinks of different types of sport, happiness and endorphins,” she said.

“Whereas when you mention mental health, you’re more inclined to think of the negative aspects such as depression, anxiety and suicide.”

“It really shouldn’t be like that – everyone has mental health. If you’re feeling down, reach out and talk to someone. There are so many different support services for students to avail of.”

Funding for the campaign was raised by a special screening of ‘Meetings with Ivor’ in the Town Hall Theater Galway

The film screening was organised by film producer Tomas Hardiman and Town Hall Manager, Fergal McGrath.

Emma Louise Duffy, Welfare office at GMIT SU said that people need to start looking at mental health more like physical health.

Some people are in better shape than others, and everyone needs a bit of help now and then.

They chose Monday as the pillar to build the campaign around because as days go, it has a lot of negative connotations for students.

“Monday can be a hard day for students, they might be feeling homesick after leaving their family at the weekend, or worried about the week ahead,” Emma said.

“Whatever the feeling is, we want to shed some light, alert people that there are supports in place, and ultimately bring a bit of cheeriness into our students Monday morning.”