University of Sheffield

Sheffield Uni and SU help launch a new suicide prevention campaign

They are the first organisations to do so

The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Students' Union have become the first organisations to support a new suicide prevention charter.

Today (September 10th) is World Suicide Prevention Day, and the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Magid Magid, has launched the Suicide Prevention Charter with the intention of getting 100 organisations to sign it this month.

The charter aims to help those who sign up to it break the silence around mental health, offer relevant support, and educate communities to reduce risks of suicide and self-harm.

The campaign has been backed by Samaritans, a mental health charity which provides support to anyone who is distressed or struggling, or at risk of suicide.

Magid said he is "thrilled" that the University and Students' Union have become the first to support the Charter.

"The aim [of the campaign] is really just trying to get as many people to take that pledge that step further because there are already so many organisations doing amazing things as it is."

Professor Wyn Morgan, Vice-President for Education at the University of Sheffield, said: "Opening up about mental health difficulties is one of the hardest things a young person can do and promoting positive mental health is an important responsibility for universities, but also society as a whole.

"We work together with our Students' Union to ensure our University is a place where students and staff feel safe to speak about mental health and to seek help.

"We're honoured that the Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid chose the University of Sheffield to launch this important campaign, which is also backed by the Samaritans, and hope others will also support this initiative."

Lilian Jones, President of Sheffield Students’ Union, added: “Mental health is an integral part of our wellbeing and must be taken seriously.

“At Sheffield Students’ Union we are committed to ensuring our support services are well-designed and wide-reaching, and our students know where to go if they are experiencing mental health difficulties.

“We aim to create a culture where mental health is not stigmatised, but freely talked about, so that every student can access the help they need and get the most out of their University experience.”

According to the Office of National Statistics, 5,821 people died by suicide in 2017, and it is the biggest cause of death among men aged under 45.

Organisations wanting to sign up to the charter can contact the Lord Mayor here.

The following are sources of suicide prevention in Sheffield

For Sheffield University students, you can register for individual counselling or group therapy sessions with the University Counselling Service (UCS) here. Sheffield Hallam students can discuss personal issues by registering and making an appointment with the Student Wellbeing Service here.

SAMHS (Student Access to Mental Health Support) – 01142224134

Sheffield Samaritans – call 116123 (freephone) or email jo@samaritans.org

Hopeline UK – call 0800 068 4141

Nightline – call 0114 22 (28787) or email nightline@sheffield.ac.uk

University Security Service – call 0114 222 4085

Photo credit: The University of Sheffield.