The upcoming Mind Your Mate mental health workshops organized by the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) have sold out.
These workshops were originally launched in January by the SRC and were intended to increase mental health awareness amongst students and staff. Two workshops, both also sold out, have taken place on 31 January and 21 February, with one more set to take place on 14 March.
The popularity of these workshops demonstrates the need for workshops that address mental health concerns within the university.
The staff and students leading the sessions are trained by a mental health charity and the original sessions received positive responses from participants. The SRC received £10,000 of funding from the lottery to develop the Mind Your Mate workshops. The sessions are free and open to all staff and students at the university. The workshops consist of a three-hour session which covers suicide prevention skills and aims to teach participants the skills to help someone in need. As well as addressing how to identify signs of depression in themselves and providing information on how to access the relevant support networks within the university and local area if in need.
VP for Student Support Lauren McDougall said: “All three open workshops of our Mind Your Mate training have been fully booked within a day or so of advertising them, with the final one selling out six weeks in advance! This shows that there’s a huge demand from students for training opportunities around mental health and suicide prevention and sends a clear message that students value peer-led early interventions. Feedback from the sessions so far has been incredibly positive and we’re currently looking in to scheduling even more open sessions, so please keep checking the SRC website and social media for details.”
This news comes along with rising concerns about mental health issues among students and criticism of the University in response to wait times for counselling appointments.
In November the SRC sent a letter to University of Glasgow Senior Management Group expressing their concerns over rising levels of students on campus. In this letter they highlighted the effect that increased number of students could have on the Counselling and Psychological Services.
In response the University promised to invest £200,00 in the Counselling and Psychological Services. In addition to this towards the end of last year the University launched their mental health action plan and appointed a mental health champion at the University. One of the points in this action plan was to train staff and students to act as a first point of contact for mental health issues. These workshops planned by the SRC seem to show how this can be achieved.