Galway Colleges Join Forces to Raise Mental Health Awareness
NUI Galway Students’ Union, GMIT Students’ Union and Please Talk have joined forces to raise mental health awareness for students with a new campaign called ‘Mental Health Mondays’ which starts today. This awareness campaign will look at a particular theme each week that affects college students and their mental health. Topics the campaign will cover include settling into college, substance abuse, self-esteem, gambling, mental health supports and looking after your mental health.
Funding for the campaign was raised by a special screening of “Meetings with Ivor” in the Town Hall Theater Galway organised by film producer Tomas Hardiman and Town Hall Manager, Fergal McGrath.
Emma-Louise Duffy, Welfare Officer of GMIT SU said: ““This project highlights how we all have mental health and just like our bodies, some of us are in better shape than others. That’s okay. It’s about teaching people the self-awareness to identify that, and how to signpost the places that you can get care when you need it. Monday can be a hard day for students, they might be feeling homesick after leaving their family at the weekend, or worried about the week ahead. Whatever the feeling is, we want to shed some light, alert people that there are supports in place, and ultimately bring a bit of cheeriness into our students Monday morning!”
Clare Austick, Welfare and Equality Officer of NUIGSU, had this to say:
“Mental health campaigns are extremely important as there is an evident negative stigma attached to it. When you think of physical health, everyone immediately thinks of different types of sport, happiness and endorphins whereas when you mention mental health, you’re more inclined to think of the negative aspects such as depression, anxiety and suicide. It really shouldn’t be like that – everyone has mental health. If you’re feeling down, reach out and talk to someone. There are so many different support services for students to avail of.”
According to Treasa Hanniffy, National Please Talk Officer: “This campaign will highlight several areas of importance for student mental health and will remind everyone that talking to someone that you trust really helps. There is support available no matter what you are going through. For more information visit www.pleasetalk.org or call to your Students’ Union.”
Students’ Unions and TDs Issue Plea to Galway Landlords
NUI Galway Students’ Union, GMIT Students’ Union and Galway West TDs are asking local landlords who rent to students to consider advertising their properties earlier in the summer to avoid the end-of-August rush for students searching for accommodation for the 2018/19 academic year. The purpose of this is to give students peace of mind over the summer months that they have secured a roof over their head for September as opposed to anxiously waiting on rental advertisements in August.
Following high-profile increases in rent rates in student accommodation in Galway City, many students are being forced to look for alternatives in the private rental market as opposed to purpose built-student accommodation. “Digs”, rooms and houses can be advertised for free at homes.usi.ie a national student specific letting website set-up by the Union of Students in Ireland to stream-line communication between landlords and students. Landlords can also advertise all types of accommodation for free on the NUI Galway accommodation website www.nuigstudentpad.ie It is worth noting that landlords can rent out rooms in their homes tax free up to a cap of €14,000 per annum.
President of NUI Galway Students’ Union Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh said “Students should not have to wait until the August rush to secure accommodation for the coming academic year. We are asking landlords to advertise their accommodation through the homes.usi.ie and www.nuigstudentpad.ie websites ASAP so that students can secure housing at the beginning of the summer rather than having to wait until the week before lectures begin. As we can see there is cross-party support to help our students achieve their academic potential. The Galway community as a whole can do more for these students who contribute so much to the local economy.”
Pictured (Left to Right): Jimmy McGovern (USI), Eamon Ó Cuív (Fianna Fáil TD), Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh (NUIG SU), Minister Seán Kyne (Fine Gael), Catherine Connolly (Independent TD), Aaron Burke (GMIT SU), Noel Grealish (Independent TD), Andrew Forde (NUIG SU)
For more information, contact:
Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh
NUI Galway Students’ Union
Ph. 086 385 5502
NUI Galway Students’ Union to host General Election hustings for Galway West – South Mayo
NUI Galway Students’ Union will be hosting a hustings for all Galway West – South Mayo candidates for the upcoming General Elections. The Hustings will take place in NUI Galway on February 4th at 6pm. Galway students’ unions registered over 9,000 students to vote this year alone. Both NUI Galway Students’ Union and GMIT Students’ Union are working together to get students mobilised for the elections.
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has teamed up with smartvote.ie to help students make an informed vote in the general elections and aim to build on the momentum from the Marriage Equality Referendum last May.
Students’ Union President Phelim Kelly said: “Students are ready. Last May we saw just how powerful the student vote is and we will vote for the candidates/parties who have our best interests at hand. We have registered so many students that candidates simply must engage with us. Third level funding is at the top of our manifesto and we cannot be side-lined in the next government. We are delighted to work with GMIT Students’ Union on the general election. We have been working together on this since July in our pre-budget lobbying and will continue to do this even after the election result.”
NUI Galway Students’ Union will in collaboration with GMIT Students’ Union run with the national #MakeASmartVote campaign which has been trending over Ireland with the national student hustings. Smartvote.ie has been described as a tinder for politics enabling young people and students to make an informed vote on the various issues facing Ireland’s youth today. Speaking on Smartvote Phelim Kelly said “One of the major problems with political engagement for young people is that they are not sure who or what party they should vote for. Smartvote will match the student with the candidate who has the similar ideals as them and will really give students an ownership of their vote. I am really excited to see how this will affect the election results.”
GMIT Students’ Union will host a hustings for all Galway East candidates the following week on Tuesday February 9th at 6pm. GMIT Students’ Union President Michael Kerrigan added “The student voice is louder than it has been in years, these hustings will give students a chance to raise issues as well as helping them to decide who best to vote for.
Updated event information including list of attendees can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/725831710852159/