A new €1 million student website which provides information, help, support and advice on mental health and wellbeing issues was officially launched at NUI Galway by RTÉ television and radio personality, Ryan Tubridy, earlier this week.
The initiative led by NUI Galway in partnership with Trinity College, Dublin, University College Cork and Dundalk IT, received government and college funding.
The project from the four colleges will provide interactive, anonymous and confidential help and support for students.
My Mind Matters (MMM ) www.mymindmatters.ie covers areas such as anxiety, depression, exam stress and coping with the transition to college life. In some colleges, students can also apply for confidential online one-to-one counselling and other interactive supports.
In the development of the project and to source quality mental health information, the colleges partnered with ReachOut.com an online service which inspires young people to help themselves through tough times.
Student focus groups from the four participating colleges joined forces to decide on the design of the site including colours, font styles, images, interactive features, navigation and layout. There will be an ongoing feedback facility within the site to ensure that it caters for the needs of students. It is hoped that the web portal will become a national widely availed of service.
Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, registrar and deputy-president of NUI Galway, says the university is not concerned solely with the academic aspect of students’ lives.
“We are concerned about their physical and mental wellbeing, also. We are therefore particularly delighted to welcome this new and collaborative mental health support website which will provide a very valuable and confidential service to students.”
Bea Gavin, the head of student counselling at NUI Galway says My Mind Matters is an online resource for an online population.
“These are tough times for students and their families. Extra stress is reflected in constantly increasing demand for reliable information and counselling. We hope that young men, in particular, who have sometimes been slow to seek help in the past, will turn to this exciting new facility.”