‘Chats for Change’ Packs To Be Distributed Across College Campuses
The Union of Students in Ireland will distribute thousands of ‘Chats for Change’ packs across Irish college campuses, in partnership with St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, See Change’s Please Talk, Twitter and Roberts Tea. The campaign encourages students to proactively engage with their peers about mental health through conversation. The campaign will also include tips on talking about mental health and useful support service contacts.
The Chats for Change campus tour will visit four campuses and includes interactive information stands and expert advice from mental health advocacy groups Please Talk and Walk in my Shoes. One-to-one consultations will be provided by campaign partners St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services.
“USI is delighted to be launching Chats for Change across Irish college campuses to encourage and normalise talk around mental health.” USI President, Annie Hoey, said. “Across Ireland, students have led the way in proactively supporting their peers in their mental health. With reports showing that as many as 1 in 3 students experience a mental health difficulty, the importance of peer support is undiminished. ’’
Hoey continued: “USI is working hard to ensure that provision for vital mental health services in Ireland is improved. But supportive gestures from fellow students – such as reaching out for a quick chat over a cup of tea – will always be a necessary part of a supportive environment.”
Twitter will host a mental health themed ‘webinar’ for students from their new Dublin headquarters on Friday 11th November at 7pm to spark online conversation about mental health.
Please Talk coordinator Treasa Hanniffy said ‘’We at Please Talk are delighted to roll out the Chats for Change campaign again. The campaign hopes to remind students that having a cup of tea and asking someone if they are OK can have such a positive impact on a person’s mental health and well-being. We want students to understand that talking is a strength not a weakness. By talking we realise we are not alone and don’t need to suffer in silence as there are supports available, we just need to have the courage to start the conversation.”