We asked Bristol students what they thought of the new mental health alert system

‘Knowing that there’s support there and that your parents will be there is a good thing’


With 94% of Bristol students opting in to having a guardian be informed in the case of an ongoing mental health crisis, it appears that the new system has been popular with the student body.

But why have the vast majority of Bristol students decided to opt in to this system? We asked you what you truly thought about the university's new policy.

Howard, Geography: "I did opt in, I think it's important to have support. I think parents are the ones who support you the most in these sorts of things, and know you the most. It makes sense that you get them involved."

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"I don't mind getting my parents involved if I had a mental health issue. I think Bristol deserve a little bit of a reputation for not having the best mental health services, but I'm not an expert or know very much about it."

"A lot of the time people might get into a place where you shut people out and you don't seek help, but I think knowing that there's support there and that your parents will be there is a good thing."

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Amy*: "Some people, especially with mental health issues, [have problems which] revolve around home life. So I don't think think — especially if the university is unsure — that if their mental issues perhaps stem from home life, that they should be their first contact."

"I think it could work, but I think it should be an option made known to students."

Molly: "I had to defer my exams for mental health issues. At the time of dealing with it, when it was really difficult for me, I didn't want to do any admin and I wasn't feeling very well. My mum could step in and contact the senior tutor and do all of it for me."

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"If I'd have had to do it on my own, I probably would never have done it and I would have ended up in a really bad financial situation because she couldn't sort out getting me re-enrolled and getting my funding."

Jordan, fourth year: "If I would've done it [opt in] then I would've said 'no'. For me, because I'm at uni, I feel like this is my responsibility to deal with and I'll deal with it in my own time. I don't want to stress my parents out."

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Alex, Chemical Engineering: "I'm lucky enough to have quite a good relationship with my parents, so I like to think on the whole I'd manage to communicate with them quite well, so they'd vaguely know how I was doing."

"I like the idea of knowing that there is someone who has a line of communication that is open if it needs to be, I know this is not the case for a lot of people."

Note: * indicates when a pseudonym has been used