UoN commits to Mental Health Reform after 3,000 students sign petition

The suicide awareness campaign has sparked change in Nottingham.


Over 3,000 students have signed a petition formed by the SU, asking for increased suicide awareness. Those students have had their voices heard and the university has committed to changing its policies.

Myles Smith and Zoe Mackenzie have been leading the suicide awareness campaign, which has proven to be a huge success. Back in March, 95 pairs of shoes were laid across the Portland building's steps to remember the 95 students who took their own lives in 2016/2017. Their commitment to the petition has made the University of Nottingham update its mental health policies.

These policies are:

1. Recognise World Suicide Prevention Day annually.

2. Introduce suicide awareness training for all student facing staff.

3. Introduce an opt-in system where students emergency contact would be contacted if university staff have a welfare concern.

4. Increase funding for the counselling service in line with demand and increasing student numbers.

5. Conduct an annual audit which includes student feedback to assess the effectiveness of the University’s Welfare provision.

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The university's counselling service provides life changing support and gives students the ability to express their emotions in confidence. The increased funding will hopefully allow more students to get the support they need quicker.

Suicide can be combated with more awareness. By bottling up our emotions, we leave ourselves more vulnerable to depression and other mental health illnesses. Talking to friends about mental health is something we should encourage and we hope other universities commit to these changes.

LIST OF CONTACTS

University Counselling Service:

Website: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/counselling/

Welfare Officers:

Each school has welfare officers who can provide useful advice. They will be more familiar with your course expectations and commitments.

Website: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studentservices/services/student-welfare-support.aspx

Samaritans:

Anyone can talk to the Samaritans anytime. You do not have to be suicidal to talk to them.

Phone: 116 123