Public representatives have been attached to the confidential listening service Niteline in an attempt to break down the barriers of communication with students.
Niteline hopes to “humanise our campaign and project an image that connects better with students”, said the service’s Co-ordinator Hannah Ryan.
The new public representatives will be experienced volunteers who will act as advocates while promoting the service, and will be at liberty to answer questions about Niteline. The service has previously struggled with anonymity due to its restricted policies and privacy issues.
The move comes following the successful introduction of an instant-messaging service last year. Ryan said “the IM service really took off last year and students found it less intimidating to use”.
Following Mental Health Week in DCU, she said: “Everyone gets stressed at some stage, people feel that they are suffering alone but we all struggle and there is no shame in it. The start of the new college year, Christmas time and around exam period is really busy for us and we want students to feel as if they are a little less alone.”
A number of initiatives are also being rolled out to promote Niteline in universities that support the service. “A Random Act of Kindness Campaign will be launched where, for example, every eighth person may get a free cup of coffee and a business card from Niteline.”
‘Study-runs’, handing out healthy food packs, and a cupcake party are also planned events for this academic year.