Students at the University of Bristol have planned a march demanding better mental health services following the news that three students are suspected to have taken their lives within three weeks.
The march, which will also be in memory of the students who have taken their lives whilst studying at the University, will take place on May 25th at 6PM. It will start at the Wills Memorial Building, ending at Senate House where the Vice-Chancellor's office is located.
Over 100 students have already expressed interest in helping to organise the march alone since the group publicly formed this evening. Details of the march can be found here.
On October 6th 2017, Professor Hugh Brady signed a Time to Change pledge to raise awareness of mental health issues around the University.
One of the organisers, Robin Boardman, said on the group: 'It's time we made Hugh Brady and the University live up to the words of that pledge, take a stand and improve our mental health services. Students should not have to suffer, especially in exam time, and we need to show that a survey is not an appropriate response to this tragedy. We need make our voices heard!
The group have described the University's response to the recent students deaths as 'appalling', arguing 'an appropriate response is not a survey but real change and that is what we will be marching for.'.
Earlier in the academic year it was announced that the University planned to reform its pastoral services in favour of a 'hub-based model' which would see the removal of Wardens, Deputy Wardens and Senior Residents from Halls.
Following a backlash from students and previous alumni, the Vice-Chancellor revised the reforms, although Wardens and Deputy Wardens are still to be removed in place of 'residential villages'.
Students have expressed concern over the removal of Wardens and Deputy Wardens, with some saying that they provide the only sense of community at the University and are one of the the only friendly faces that can make a student feel comfortable talking about their issues.
In an interview with Epigram earlier this year, Hugh Brady said that this new model does not 'start from scratch', but combines the strengths of what the University already does with the need for a 'radical overhaul'.
Most people who are thinking of taking their own life have shown warning signs beforehand.
These can include becoming depressed, showing sudden changes in behaviour, talking about wanting to die and feelings of hopelessness. These feelings do improve and can be treated.
If you are concerned about someone, or need help yourself, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123.
Other student support services include:
Young Minds https://youngminds.org.uk/ 0808 802 5544
Papyrus https://www.papyrus-uk.org/ 0800 068 41 41
Student Minds http://www.studentminds.org.uk/findsupport.html