Information on +Connections

USI have developed a student mental health app that enables students to find and access mental health services to meet their needs. It also has information on starting a conversation and a student blog. 

The app will have three primary functions:

  1. Provide a signposting service for students and increase awareness of services available to support their mental health. The mapping service will link into the GPS on phone and direct students to the location of the service. It will also provide email and phone contacts. Information was gathered and checked through the SU – On campus services mapped include student health centres, counselling, chaplaincy, disability and students unions. External organisations mapped include Jigsaw, Pieta House and Rape Crisis Centres. Four helpline numbers have also been included (Samaritans, Pieta House, Rape Crisis Centre and LGBT Healplin). A lot of thought was put into the decision of what services were to be included and we did not want to overwhelm students with too many services and helplines but feel the ones we picked cover a wide range of issues from early intervention to suicide prevention as well as specialised services. 
  1. Inform students about starting a conversation around mental health. This includes information on approaching a friend if you are worried about their mental health or your own. This section will also have information on what to do in the case of an emergency. Having a conversation around mental health, whether it is about you, or someone you care about can be a bit daunting. However, these are important conversations that we all need to have.  This app has been created to help you start a conversation around mental health and to signpost to services that available to you, if needed.  It covers areas such as active listening skills, top tips and what to do when the conversations doesn’t quite go to plan. This is the only advice/guidance in the app and has been approved by a clinical psychologist. 
  1. Host a student mental health blog. This will be a space where students can discuss mental health and how it relates to themselves. This blog is about sharing experiences of mental health and forming sort of a peer support element to the app. This is an area that we hope to expand on in the future. We would really love to get more input from students in terms of the blog so please help us speed the word, we encourage you to submit something and tell others to do so too! 

Download the app on the App Store or Google Play now.

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Opportunity to write a blog on Mental Health for USI

This will be featured on their mental health new app and webpage

We are looking for students to write about mental health and their experiences of it. We hope to create a safe and supportive space for students to discuss mental health and how it relates to themselves. 

Some guidelines when writing the blog include: 

  • Keep it safe and non-triggering, rather than writing about specific behaviours, focus on the feelings and psychological aspects where possible. 
  • If using facts and figures, ensure they are correct and always reference where you got the information from. 
  • Think of how the blog will affect you, take some time to think about sharing your story publicly and if this is the right thing for you. It may help to talk to others about it before you submit. You can publish anonymously if you don’t want to put a name to your blog. 
  • We want to ensure that this blog is on the mental health experiences of students and how it has impacted on their student life. Keep it student focused. 
  • Keep it short and focused. Aim for between 400 – 600 words. As well as keeping the blog short remember that shorter sentences and paragraphs are easier to read and more suitable for the app and webpage.  
  • When planning your blog try and think of the key message you want the reader to take from it and work towards that. Try structure it in a way that it has a start, middle and end and think about the headings within it.  

Some ideas for blog content (Please note we are open to your suggestions too!): 

  • Looking after yourself at college
  • Impact of mental health on studies 
  • What has helped/hurt your mental health in college  
  • Involvement in student life outside class such as through SU, student societies, sports clubs etc. 
  • Use of support services within or outside of the college setting
  • Self-care tips/advice
  • Homesickness
  • Erasmus 
  • LGBTI+ and mental health
  • Disability and mental health 
  • Mature student experience 
  • Specific mental health difficulties
  • Recovery 
  • Life after college
  • Ideas on things people/leaders could do to improve student’s mental health at third level 

Submitting the blog

  • Email your blog to Aoife at mentalhealth@usi.ie . 
  • Once you submit the blog you will receive notification of receipt of it within two working days. 
  • If the blog needs further editing you will be fully involved in the process. 
  • Selected blogs for publication will receive a €25 euro one for all voucher as a thank you. 
  • Blogs will be invited throughout the year however we do need a number to be included in the launch of our app on the 12th of November therefore the sooner you can get it in the better.