From education to employment

Local College urge students to Mind their Head

This October, as part of mental health awareness, SERC is hosting a ‘Put it in Your Phone Day’ on Tuesday 10 October to coincide with World Mental Health Day.  

The Day is designed to encourage students to take five minutes during class to save the contact telephone numbers of organisations who can provide confidential advice, counselling and support services 24/7 such as Inspire, Lifeline and Samaritans, should they, a family member or a friend need it.  

With one in five people in Northern Ireland showing signs of mental ill health at any one time, SERC want to put a spotlight on young people’s mental health and get everyone joining in on the conversation to remind them that help is available.  

To demonstrate their commitment to looking after the emotional and physical wellbeing of students, SERC have signed the mental health charter which demonstrates their commitment to helping employees and students get through difficulties at work caused by mental illness. To date eight mental health champions have been trained across all campuses to promote the difficulties around mental health issues as well as showing students how to cope with the problems associated to it and what help and support is available.  

Throughout the Day students will be shown a one minute, You-Tube clip directly after saving the telephone numbers to highlight the simple things that everyone can do to improve their mental health and wellbeing. The Day provides an opportunity for staff and students to talk about how to improve wellbeing and help make mental health care a reality. 

The hope is, that by the end of 10 October, all students will have sufficient contact information for support services which may save their or someone else’s life.  

Paul Walsh, SERC Downpatrick Campus Manager said “Mental ill health issues affect us at some time in our lives, with young adults being particularly at risk from such issues. The ‘Put it in Your Phone Day’ will show students how to cope correctly when presented with problems of mental ill health and show what support is available.  

“While it is hoped that most students will never need to use these numbers, the very act of entering them into their phone will remind them that their mental health is important and that help is only a phone call away.”  

Since April 2015 staff at the Downpatrick Campus have been working with local charity, PIPS Downpatrick, to train a small number of Access to Education students to identify, engage and guide a young person presenting symptoms of poor mental health, towards sources of appropriate help and care.

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