Mental health discussed on TV by Edge Hill student

Olivia Williams, The President of Edge Hill Students’ Union’s “Student Minds Society”, appeared on BBC News on Thursday June 28th to discuss the impact of mental health issues on students. The appearance was following the release of data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which shows that student suicide rates have risen by more than a fifth since a decade ago.

The Student Minds Society was set up by Edge Hill students, many of whom have suffered with mental health problems during their time in higher education, with the aim of raising awareness of issues, giving support to fellow struggling students, and removing the stigma attached to mental health.

Mental health support for students is a priority for Edge Hill Students’ Union, and as well as offering a confidential Advice Centre which prides itself on being a place that “listens, takes students seriously, and never judges”, it also has a network of student officers and reps who offer peer-to-peer support and a point of contact for students in need.

In the interview, Miss Williams discussed her own battle with mental health issues at University, stating, “[Mental Health] is not going to go away overnight, it’s a constant battle. My lecturers were amazing, really understanding. We’re lucky that we have got a Students’ Union at Edge Hill that want to improve the mental health of students. The Students’ Union want to work alongside Edge Hill to create a mental health friendly campus. I’ve set up a mental health society to give people that community so they know that they are not alone when it comes to mental health. A lot of students do feel like they are alone. Even if it helps one person, I’m happy with that”.

Edge Hill Students’ Union’s VP Welfare, Rosie McKenna said, “Student mental health is something that, rightly, has been moved to the top of the agenda for Universities UK, and institutions around the country are starting to sit up and listen.

It’s far from good enough, and much, much more needs to be done.

Having events and awareness days to relieve stress are good and important, don’t get me wrong, but puppy rooms aren’t going to solve the crisis of weeks long waiting lists for counselling, and having a self-care day won’t make depression or bipolar disorder go away.

She continued, “There’s a desperate need for a holistic, institution wide approach to tackling the mental health crisis on campuses. The UUK step-change framework is a start, but it will take students and their Unions campaigning and lobbying for services to tackle this issue head on. I’m immensely proud of the work we’ve done this year on mental health, but there’s so much further to go.”

Edge Hill Students’ Union will be working closely with students, elected officers, societies and staff to highlight the severity of mental health issues in students and the support that is available to them, and helping the Student Minds’ Society throughout the year to help them achieve their aim of ending the stigma attached to mental health.

For further information about Edge Hill Students’ Union or the above press release, please contact Lizzie Orr, Head of Marketing, at orre@edgehill.ac.uk or on 01695 657303.

Notes to Editors

Edge Hill Students’ Union is a charity that sits independently from Edge Hill University, based on Edge Hill University’s campus. Its mission is to ensure Student voices are heard, valued and acted upon, and aims to improve the Student experience at every opportunity.

We sit on a number of University Committees to ensure Students are always at the forefront of decisions, and support Students with academic appeals and issues through our popular Advice Centre. We also offer free, independent advice for students on landlord and housing problems, benefits and debt, mental health and welfare issues, driving campaigns across campus around topics such as consent, sexual harassment and personal wellbeing.

The organisation runs Team Edge Hill sports teams and over 70 societies, and generates income to fund its activities through operating a campus-based SU Bar and ‘Venue’ nightclub, SU Shop, and SUBWAY restaurant.

Registered Charity Number: 1143764

Edge Hill Students’ Union is a charity (1143764) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England (7329036).

Registered Office: The Hub, St. Helens Road, L39 4QP

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