The struggles and stress of University life can sometimes be too much for students to cope with. The period of late adolescence to young adulthood commonly intensifies these difficulties, and mental health problems consequently arise. It may sound surprising that 75 per cent of students experience some degree of psychological distress whilst at University. Moreover, for one out of three students affected, this occurs at night when student welfare services are closed.
Therefore, The University of Leicester is thus proud to comprise one of the 90 Universities throughout the UK and Ireland to offer a free and confidential phone and instant messaging service, open every night in term-time from 8pm to 8am. The service gives students an outlet to discuss issues troubling them and runs off five key principles: confidentiality, anonymity, non-judgement, non-direction, and non-advice.
At the University, we have two teams of volunteers: the anonymous phone volunteers, as well as a designated publicity team with the aim of fund-raising and spreading awareness of Nightline’s services to students.
This academic year, I’ve been involved with this Friends of Nightline publicity team. Recently, we’ve been busy planning the events for Nightline Awareness Week which began today (Monday 7 March) until Friday. We managed to raise an impressive £102 for the charity during the last awareness week in November 2015 which we are hoping to beat.
So come along to the activities this week and help us spread the word. Today there is a stall in the Students Union where there are free pens, coasters, and information about the services. Tomorrow (Tuesday) there will be face-painting and henna in the SU. A lucky dip will take place on Wednesday with a chance to win Shabang! tickets, Nandos vouchers, and coffee beans and tins of tea from Starbucks. On Thursday there will be a cake sale (including cakes that I’ve helped to decorate), and in the evening there will be a pub quiz at the New Road Inn on Welford Road. And finally, on Friday to finish off the week, Freddie (Nightline’s teddy bear mascot) will be around campus and giving out free hugs to students, there will be a pick’n’mix sweet stall in the SU, and Freddie will also be at Shabang! – so make sure to get a picture with him!
To find out more about Nightline Leicester, or to become a volunteer, please visit their page on the Leicester Union website: http://www.leicesterunion.com/groups/nightline–2
To follow Nightline Leicester’s events schedule, ‘like’ their group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nightline-Leicester-290580271006297/