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“Males are three times more likely to take their life and it’s a problem that’s especially difficult and critical at the moment.”

May 15, 2019

“Hi, my name’s Rosie and I’m a student at Cardiff University, and I’ve also just completed an internship with the student’s union in a National Lottery funded project in suicide prevention and mental health support. This project was funded by the National Lottery and we’re so incredibly grateful for the funding and the ability to put this project on.

“I’ve personally delivered the training that this has funded to 300 students but there’s a team of us delivering it and looking to deliver to 1,000 students and staff members by the end of the year so it’s really going to benefit a lot of people in our community, and help to teach people how to spot the signs among their friends, peers, families and colleagues exhibiting signs of suicidal thoughts and ideas, and really teaching them about how to help them and how to help themselves as well.

“Another part of our campaign that I was really passionate about being involved with and starting was a campaign specifically aimed at male students. Males are three times more likely to take their life and it’s a problem that’s especially difficult and critical at the moment, so we wanted to put on a campaign for male students to encourage them and say that it’s ok to speak about your mental health and to reach out and get support, and that everybody regardless of their gender or identity has mental health just as they have physical health and it’s a strength not a weakness to reach out for support.

“Personally I suffer from depression and anxiety and that’s really affected me as a student but Cardiff University and the Student’s Union have helped me so much, and every time that I’ve felt like I needed support it’s been there for me and I’ve been able to speak out. There’s been no barrier to me speaking out, and I really want that for my male friends, colleagues and peers who have some unique barriers that they might face like they need to be strong and that it’s not a strength to speak out as there’s a lot of stigma around men accessing mental health support and speaking out about their mental health, so I really wanted to create a campaign and provision that encourages them to wear their hearts on their sleeves which is where the “Alright Mate?” campaign came from.”

Speaking up about mental health is a STRENGTH, NOT a weakness. Cardiff University Students’ Union launched the #AlrightMate? campaign. The campaign is their response to the alarmingly high rate of male suicide in the UK, which is the biggest killer of men under 45. They want to help put an end to these eye-opening statistics and break the stigma of talking about mental health.

Cardiff University Students’ Union received £9,600 of National Lottery money to train six staff members, who deal with students who may be in crisis, to deliver a ‘Suicide Prevention Skills for University Students’ programme to the student body. The National Lottery Community Fund spoke to Cardiff University students to talk about their experiences to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people.

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