3Ts and Athlone Institute of Technology’s Students Union joined forces with their suicide prevention and positive mental health initiative - ‘Share the Load’ - which was held on the Athlone campus recently.
The initiative includes a public display of 124 backpacks, representing the average number of college students who die by suicide in Ireland each year.
Share the Load encourages conversation about the impact of suicide in colleges, in addition to urging students to connect with the many mental health supports provided by Students’ Unions around the country.
“The main aim of today’s initiative is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and to showcase the various simple activities that can help and also the supports that are available for students both inside and outside of the AIT,” said Oisin Moloughney, vice-president for welfare and accommodation with AIT Students’ Union.
“Mental health is something that affects us all at some stage or another. College brings with it a lot of fun but also a lot of stresses at different times. We think it’s important that students realise that it is good to talk about these stresses and that a problem shared is a problem halved. It’s OK not to feel ok and we want you to know that your Students Unionis here to support you whenever you may need it.”
3Ts also announced its ‘3Steps to Mental Health’ programme, which aims to foster a better understanding of mental illness, suggests ways to approach the topic, and teaches how to access crisis and specialist supports.
Clare O’Brien said: “The premise of 3Steps is to teach people to know the signs, know the words, and know your supports. Our 3Steps wallet size card is a simple, practical guide on what to do if you are concerned that someone is suicidal, with the process broken down into our 3Steps.
“These wallet cards are available to all organisations by contacting www.3ts.ie where a copy of the card may also be downloaded. In addition to activities such as these, 3Ts also offers safe talk training, a half-day alertness training that prepares people, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper.”
For further information on 3ts visit www.3ts.ie.