By Mark Lynch
It’s Wellbeing Week this week, the 7th to the 11th of October, here in NUI Galway, with events around the campus to celebrate, advise and inform students about positive mental health. The focus for this year, according to Students’ Union Welfare and Equality Officer, Brandon Walsh, is a practical approach to mental health. “We have different things coming up this week that we hope will equip people with the skills that they need. We feel that’s very important, because, in the past, there would have been a lot of information given out without necessarily highlighting services that are available and things that people can do to help themselves, learn how to help others and learn where to go”. He added, “So, a big focus for us this year is just trying to direct people to relevant services and also equip them with the relevant skills they’ll need to help themselves”.
In terms of what events to expect for the week, Brandon gave SIN a full run-down of the programme. “Lots of societies are getting involved and doing their own thing, I know Style Soc have a self-care evening, things like that. We have the therapy dogs in the library from 12-1, we have the mindfulness sessions that are going to be on at lunchtimes. We have a recovery college coming in and doing a workshop on resilience on Tuesday from 1-2, there’s a procrastination workshop from 5-7”.
“We have JIGSAW coming in to do ‘5 Steps for Positive Mental Health’ and ‘Useful Strategies to Help You Do Well’, and I’m going to be running a Connect Café, which is a Mental Health Ireland initiative. This year’s topic is suicide prevention and it’s on Thursday, which coincides with World Mental Health Day, so there’ll be lots going on at that”.
Societies also play a huge part in the week’s events, as Brandon Walsh outlines, “Psychology Soc are facilitating a workshop with Fiona Roche from counselling and she’s going to talk about beginning conversations about mental health and that’s based a lot around relatives and friends that could be struggling with mental health. A lot of that has come from the USI report on mental health, where, I think, 77% of people said they wanted more support in supporting others, so that’s really topical and will be really good. We also have the Vintage Sale that’s going to be on in Áras na Mac Léinn on Thursday from 11-4, so that’ll be cool as well”.