DCU Students’ Union Mental Health Week, promoted as ‘Helping Hands Week’, is taking place across the DCU campuses this week.
Organised by DCUSU Welfare Officer Cody Byrne, he said that “this is the week students drop out the most. We want them to stop dropping out because they’re lonely”.
The week, which runs from October 24th to 28th, will focus on mental health but the main aim is to tackle student isolation by prompting students to engage with their peers.
Students will be given wristbands to show they are open to talk and a year long initiative called ‘Mind Your Mates’ is being launched to try and encourage a sense of the DCU community. A sexologist will also be brought in to talk about the benefits of masturbation and the Gym will be free for all students.
This year there will be an emphasis placed on how neglecting your overall health can link with a decline in a student’s mental health. Byrne plans to have days throughout the year dedicated to ensuring students are aware that they need to take care of themselves consistently and that it is not just associated with depression and anxiety alone.
“Mental health is just simply health. That’s like saying physical health is always obesity or diabetes,” said Byrne.
He plans to run workshops and days similar to the Union Of Students in Ireland (USI) #chatforchange campaign which encouraged students to relax and talk with each other. With the recent budget announcements, the USI criticised the government for a lack of clarification on whether they’ll be providing €37.5 million for mental health care.
Information about the support services available on campus will be promoted and more details about the week’s events can be found on the DCUSU’s Facebook page.
Image credit: Zainab Boladale