Bristol SU gives freshers free condoms and lube as part of new harm reduction packages
The harm reduction packages also include access to mental health and addiction resources
Bristol SU is distributing harm reduction boxes to freshers in halls, helping them to access mental health, drug safety, and addiction resources.
Alongside the leaflets and information resources, the boxes include 10 condoms as well as lube.
The SU have distributed 1,300 boxes across all the Bristol Uni residences and will be providing more resources throughout the year.
Ruth Day, the Bristol SU Living Officer, is heading up the project, which aims to make students aware of the support available to them. The project covers three main areas: mental health, drug safety, as well as other addictions including gambling and smoking.
Ruth told the Bristol Tab: “We know our students haven’t been out very much with Covid, so we’re hoping that when they open this box, they’ll see the advice and know what services are available in the city.”
The box includes leaflets and calling cards from Project Talk, a large Bristol-based charity that helps people with mental health problems.
It includes a contact card, steps on how to help someone who is struggling, and a leaflet on how to access peer support groups that run throughout the city.
Nobody should suffer alone. For a complete breakdown of all the wellbeing support available to Bristol Uni students, you can find the information here.
The boxes also promotes the All About Drugs campaign. The campaign, founded in 2020, is a project between the SU, the university and Bristol Drugs Project to promote harm reduction around drug use.
There is also information to guide students towards the free drug reagent tests. These tests can confirm precisely what composes the substance that they test. This can help identify unexpected components to the substance that could be harmful.
They also plan on having a mobile unit at Stoke Bishop so students can check before heading off for the night.
Bristol Uni is endorsing the project, recognising that zero-tolerance drug policies can have very negative effects, and lead to more drug-related deaths.
Ruth Day said: “The university’s logo will show students that if you’re struggling with drug use or whatever, it’s actually okay. We’re not here to punish you, we’re here to give objective advice, information, and support if you need it.
“Zero-tolerance drug policies don’t tend to work. It just means that people will try and hide away and can’t reach out for support when they need it.”