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SHARE the LOAD: Mental Health Initiative for Students

3Ts Suicide Prevention Initiative for Students launched this week at DIT Students Union Mental Health Week (17-21 Oct 2016)

181016 DIT Share the Load Pink3Ts helped mark the beginning of DIT Students Union (DITSU) Mental Health Week with their suicide prevention and positive mental health initiative, Share the Load, at the DIT Grangegorman campus in Dublin. 

The initiative includes a public display of 131 backpacks, representing the average number of college students who die by suicide in Ireland each year.  Share the Load encourages conversation about the impact of suicide in colleges in addition to urging students to connect with the many mental health supports provided by the Students Union on campus at DIT and in other colleges around the country.

“The main aim of the week is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and to showcase the various simple activities that can help and also the supports that are available for students both inside and outside of the DIT”, said Tara O’Brien, VP Welfare at DIT Students Union.  “Mental health is something that effects us all at some stage or another.  College brings with it a lot of fun but also a lot of stresses at different times.  We think it’s important that students realise that it is good to talk about these stresses and to also be there to listen to how someone else might be feeling.  It’s OK not to feel ok and we want you to know that your Students Union is here to support you whenever you may need it”. 

Speaking on behalf of 3Ts, Chairman Noel Smyth said, “We are delighted to work with DITSU and we would like to commend them for their exceptional work so far.  Our campaign “Share the Load” is designed to be complementary to the great work that takes places in colleges all over the country. The premise of Share the Load is that it is a dual invitation – firstly, to open up and share how you are feeling and secondly, to be there for someone else who might be going through a tough time.  Sadly, the recent suicide statistics released by the NOSP last week demonstrate that our young people are still the most “at risk” group when it comes to suicide in Ireland.  Activities such as these, which are taken on and run by Students themselves to highlight helpful supports, have never been more important in this context.  However, 3Ts believes that only a Suicide Authority, with dedicated funds and autonomy from Government can adequately protect our young people from suicide in Ireland.  We will be doubling our efforts to ensure that an Authority is realised to help prevent parents in the future facing the tragic loss of their sons or daughters”.

“It’s Good to Talk” is the DITSU overall theme for the week and many activities have been planned to encourage plenty of talk and interaction among attendees.  Events such as “Tea & Chats”, Movie Nights, Giant Bubbles and Pokemon Colouring Competitions will take place in addition to SAFEtalk training events.  SAFEtalk is a half-day alertness training that prepares people, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide alert helper.  The Samaritans will also be in situ on campus throughout the week.  Other DIT supports include

  • DITSU Welfare Officer welfare@ditsu.ie;
  • DIT Counselling; www.dit.ie/campuslife/counselling
  • DIT Chaplaincy: www.dit.ie/chaplaincy/contactus

If you would like to arrange a workshop or activity for your school or college, please contact 3Ts on info@3ts.ie or phone 01 2139909.