Suicide prevention: GUSRC announce new initiative

Glasgow University SRC announces new training initiative to deliver “Mind Your Mate” suicide prevention training.

In response to growing concerns around the increase in mental health issues amongst students nationally, GUSRC has been awarded £10,000 in funding to deliver an innovative UofG-based suicide prevention training programme.

Awards for All Scotland provided the grant following a bid from SRC VP Student Support, Erin Ross, who said:

“We’re so delighted to have been successful in our bid for external funding. The next challenge is recruiting volunteers with the skills and motivation to help us take the project forward.”

GUSRC are again working with the Public Initiative for Prevention of Suicide and Self-Harm (PIPS) and seeking to build on past joint work, including the popular and highly rated “Mind Your Mate” suicide prevention programme of 2014-15. 99% of participants fed back that they would recommend the programme, and this appetite for information and support from GUSRC has only grown, with packed-out attendance at “Look After Yourself”, a mental health panel discussion; and students snapping up free stress packs as part of an “Exam De-Stress” campaign promoting self-care.

This award will be used to develop a sustainable suicide prevention training model, giving GUSRC the capacity to deliver training in-house. GUSRC established the link with PIPS Programmes due to their record of specialising in training students and understanding student mental health issues.

Ross said:

“From those dealing with the general stressors of University life to those in need of support around major trauma, the need to comprehensively address mental health on campus is clear. Equipping our students to intervene early may prevent someone from reaching a crisis point.”

Six volunteers in key positions will be trained to deliver “Mind Your Mate” to their fellow students. The programme will then be rolled out to hundreds of students across UofG campuses. This sustainable model will enable GUSRC to embed suicide prevention training into its support offering – ultimately linking more at-risk students to the support they need.

Editors notes

The ‘Mind Your Mate’ programme follows the Look-Listen-Link model, which trains participants to:

  • Look – identify signs of depression and mental ill-health within themselves and their peers;
  • Listen – to communicate safely and effectively with an individual in distress;
  • Link – to access or assist others in accessing the support they need.