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Mental health initiative to bring together Bristol students over a pint on World Mental Health Day

Organisations in Bristol will be coming together on Saturday 10 October with a special event to mark World Mental Health Day 2020.

By Filiz Emily Gurer, News Editor

The event will be offering participants a new 0.5%-alcohol beer to encourage discussion around drinking culture and mental health as they believe ‘having a chat over a pint can be a brilliant way to support friends through challenging times’

A mental health initiative established by Bristol University students will be bringing together organisations across the city for a special event tomorrow, Saturday 10 October, to mark World Mental Health Day.

PROJECT:TALK, a community interest company established by two Bristol medical students, will be encouraging students to raise awareness around drinking culture and promote conversation around mental health.

Bristol Beer Factory’s new 0.5%-alcohol beer, ‘Clearhead’, will be made free to participants | Bristol Beer Factory / PROJECT:TALK

The event is a joint effort by PROJECT:TALK, We Talk Club CIC and Bristol Beer Factory and will offer a new 0.5%-alcohol beer, ‘Clearhead’, to those taking part.

Tomorrow’s event is part of PROJECT:TALK’s current campaign that aims to support students’ mental health as they return to university life after a challenging few months - ‘PROJECT:TALK // SMALLTALK’, which is run in collaboration with Bristol SU and University of Bristol Sport.

With students facing a unique transition to university life, the aim of the event is to highlight the importance of having a chat and facilitating the important conversations that are so crucial for our mental fitness.

PROJECT:TALK believes that facilitating this chat is now more important than ever, in a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged people into uncertainty and presented them with entirely new challenges that can be difficult to navigate alone, and they believe that ‘having a chat over a pint can be a brilliant way to unwind, support friends through challenging times’.

PROJECT:TALK is encouraging students to head to one of the participating venues on 10 October and challenges students to have a chat over a pint of Clearhead, a Bristol-brewed low-alcohol beer.

To support the mental health of our students, we must foster a community that is proactive in seeking support. This starts with facilitating supportive, effective conversations

The participating venues include Bristol Beer Factory Taproom, the Arnolfini, Grain Barge, Barley Mow (Barton Rd.)

To receive their free pint of ‘Clearhead’, students simply redeem at:

George Cole, co-founder of PROJECT:TALK, has said: ‘The current COVID-19 situation makes clear that it’s time to support students in redefining the Freshers’ experience to be more beneficial to mental fitness and more conducive to developing genuine, trusting relationships in their new cities.

‘Students must feel empowered to support their own mental fitness and also that of those around them. The way a community interacts and supports each other is fundamental not only to how we navigate life’s challenges but also how we can seize opportunities.

‘In order to support the mental health of our students, we should understand that we all have a collective responsibility to empower and support each other.

‘We must foster a community that is proactive in seeking support and aware of the unique challenges we all face.

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‘All of this starts with facilitating supportive, effective conversations. This is the principle behind the work of PROJECT:TALK.’

Co-Founder of Talk Club, Claire, said: ‘We need to support our students and they absolutely need to be equipped and empowered to look after their own mental health, preventatively. Now, more than ever.

‘TALK CLUB began as a much-needed response to the alarming statistics surrounding male suicide in the UK, particularly for those over 45. But the hard work needs to be done much earlier.

‘We want a society where people value their mental fitness as much as their physical fitness. And, we believe, something as simple as opening up to others regularly about everyday stresses and worries is as powerful and effective as going to the gym. So, ask yourself (or a friend) everyday … How are you? Out of 10?’

Featured image: PROJECT:TALK

For more information on PROJECT:TALK's campaign, click here.