The campaign, which took place over two days, saw the erection of a stall on King’s Walk as well as a presentation in the Daniel Wood room of the Students’ Union.
World Mental Health Day, which has taken place every 10th October since 1992, is internationally celebrated as a day for mental health education, awareness and support against social stigma. The theme of this year was suicide prevention.
The stall, ran by Nightline and Mind the Gap, provided hot drinks and biscuits to passers-by, as well as offering information on mental health organisations and services at students’ disposal. Groups such as Samaritans, Time to Change, and Mind were featured.
This past year alone, students working for Nightline at Newcastle University have amassed over 2600 hours of volunteering and continue to anonymously take calls from 8pm to 8am every night of term.
Nightline supports students’ mental wellbeing by providing a space for them to talk to their peers about how they are feeling, completely confidentially. Their focus is on prevention of student suicide. This past year alone, students working for Nightline at Newcastle University have amassed over 2600 hours of volunteering and continue to anonymously take calls from 8pm to 8am every night of term. Next semester sees the 50th anniversary of the opening of the very first Nightline at Essex University.
Mind the Gap is the University’s own mental health society and works with students, the local community and charities to raise awareness of mental health issues. They run fortnightly discussion groups on different mental health topics as well as social activities and peer support sessions.
Mind the Gap hold an annual conference for the general public at the Students’ Union, where around 200 delegates attend a series of talks and workshops lead by mental health professionals.
Sophie Walker, one of the current coordinators for Nightline and campaign officer for Mind the Gap, had this to say about the days’ events: “Nightline and Mind the Gap run campaigns throughout the year to raise awareness of key mental health issues, and make sure all students know about the services we offer. We had good engagement with the World Mental Health Day stall and welcome all students to our activities.”
Students can call Nightline any night of term from 8pm to 8am. Find their number on the back of your student card, or alternatively find their Instant Messaging service at www.nusu.co.uk/support/nightline/