Mental Health Equality Officer

Spring Elections 2020

Lu Byrne

The post of mental health equality officer needs a new energy behind it as well as a candidate who is experienced in the issues faced by fellow students. I believe I am the person to bring these things. I have been battling depression for a large part of my life and have been in therapy for four years. I know just how hard things can get and have extensive experience of the mental health system. Furthermore, as a first year, I believe I can give a voice to first years and their discontent with the current mental health system. I believe there are strong programs already in place such as: the big white wall, and university nightline. However, almost nobody I have talked to is aware of these services. Therefore, if elected my priority would be to build awareness of existing programs through posters and email. I would strengthen programs for those who have suffered sexual abuse. In addition, I would hold regular meetings where people could raise their concerns. Another key policy would be providing people advice on what to do during waiting times, whilst evaluating ways to reduce them. For these reasons I hope you vote for me.

Abigail Whelan

Having had mental health issues in the past, and seen the mental health system at the university, I believe there is more that can be done. If I am elected, I will push for the university to introduce a mandatory reporting system whereby students are able to opt in to have information shared with parents or a designated contact should they have a mental health crisis whilst at university. Often, asking for help is the hardest thing to do; I believe we should make that as easy as possible for anyone who needs it. If I am elected, I will also improve signposting for mental health services. I will also introduce ‘freshers packs’ for incoming students directing them to university resources and also external resources as I feel the impact that a substantial change, such as moving to university, has on the mental health of students of any age could be better addressed.