Hundreds of students unite to march for better Mental Health services

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On Friday 2th May, hundreds of students from the University of Bristol joined together and marched around campus demanding better Mental Health and Wellbeing services.

The organisers of the event stated, 'This is a peaceful demonstration with the aim of improving the University of Bristol's Mental Health and Wellbeing services in the wake of the tragedy of the recent student deaths.

'We want to remember the lives of those who have suffered so much and improve the service for those who are still vulnerable'.

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Marchers assembled by the Victoria Rooms and listened to a variety of speakers, ranging from current students to PhD graduates and UCU members.

One student spoke to the crowd saying, 'With mental health there is such a culture of resilience and a feeling of not wanting to bother anyone, but that only makes it worse.

He added, 'I never felt comfortable going to my personal tutor about these issues. I was helped my Healthy Mind and student counselling but the four sessions they offer are not enough'.

A member of the UCU added, 'Let's revive counselling cycles that enable proper relationships to form. The University needs to care about the students as people and not numbers.

'We don't want a single person to feel unloved and unsupported'.

The first chant of the march was 'we're here because we care!' with others including 'our health is not for sale' and 'Hugh Brady, I wanna know where my warden's gone!'

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Freya Cohen, a student stewarding at the event told Epigram, 'We all have to come together and support for people suffering. It affects everyone.

'We are lucky enough to have brilliant services but they need more investment'.

One of the organisers of the march, second-year student Alina Young said:

'In light of recent suffering we felt it was necessary for people to come together. Using our feet and our voices we can hopefully bring about some kind of change, finally'.

All students who are struggling with mental health issues are strongly encouraged to seek help from friends, the University or one of the many support services listed below.

Help suggest ideas of how the University can improve its Mental Health and Wellbeing services via this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-wxOnut31Jg_PYs9t2rmSNR867Ilz3R9dcXkBsGG734/viewform?edit_requested=true

Featured image credit: Nikki Peach, Epigram


**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
Nightline https://www.nightline.ac.uk/want-to-talk/
Papyrus https://www.papyrus-uk.org/ 0800 068 41 41
Student Minds http://www.studentminds.org.uk/findsupport.html

AUTHOR

Nikki Peach

Deputy Editor 2018/19, formerly News Editor 2017/18 / Second-year English student

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