On the 25th October, USI were invited to speak at the Oireachtas Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science for a Roundtable discussion on Mental Health Supports in Schools and Tertiary Education. USI Mental Health Programme Manager represented the organisation. USI were invited to make a written submission to the Oireachtas Committee before being invited to speak – you can find a copy of this submission here.
In the meeting, USI spoke about the need to increase funding for student mental health, and the need to make mental health funding a core, ring-fenced part of the higher education budget. USI highlighted the need to support student mental health more, and how students have issues accessing help when they need it due to short-staffing. USI spoke about how counselling services are struggling to cope with demand and need more support in order to better support the student population. We also highlighted the need to start educating people about mental health as early as possible and to continue this throughout the full education journey.
A recording of the meeting is available below, and a transcript of it is also available here.
An important part of the work that the USI Coiste Gno do is working with and lobbying the government for better supports for all students, including better mental health supports.