The National Union of Students in Northern Ireland (NUS-USI) launched a new youth mental health initiative to help students through tough times. The PleaseTalk service (www.pleasetalk.ie) is operated by Inspire Ireland (www.inspireireland.ie) and is aimed at linking in students who are in distress with college supports.
Adrianne Peltz, President of NUS-USI said:
"As we draw closer to Christmas and exam-time stress, it is vital that students of all ages are made aware of what support is available to them at both college and university. For many students, college is a time that can be lonely and induce feelings of isolation with students being far from home and family networks.”
“With one in four people suffering from a mental health problem in the UK, it is vital that we implement a new strategy for tackling mental health problems. We see the launch of the PleaseTalk website in Northern Ireland as a step in the right direction and welcome the efforts of the colleges in promoting it."
Responding to the reality that the majority of students are within the most vulnerable age category of risk of suicide, students at University College Dublin set up the PleaseTalk initiative in 2007 with a view to reaching out to students. The PleaseTalk initiative is funded by the Republic of Ireland Health Service Executive (HSE) and has two components. The first is the campaign's message that 'talking is a sign of strength', which urges students to talk to someone if they're having problems at home, at college or anywhere else. The second component of the campaign, the PleaseTalk website, www.pleasetalk.ie, highlights the extensive supports available to students on campuses throughout Ireland, as well as other external information and services.
Elaine Geraghty, CEO of Inspire Ireland, said “The need to support young people as they move on their journey through life is clear across all of the island of Ireland. That is why we are working closely with the NUS-USI connecting students to the services they need, when they need them “