Student Survival Guide Part 2: Mental Health

Anne Sexton looks at the options available to third level students experiencing mental health difficulties

Ireland’s suicide and self-harming rates are alarming. The latest figures from the National Office for Suicide Prevention found that 495 people took their own lives in 2010, over 80 percent of whom were men. Add to that the fact that 12,010 incidents of self-harm were recorded in emergency departments last year and the scale of the problem becomes apparent.

Ireland’s high rates of suicides and self-harm are not helped by the failure of the government and HSE to deliver much-needed services. Earlier this year it was announced that €35 million had been budgeted to improve mental health services and employ an additional 477 professionals. As yet, no new staff have been appointed.

There are, thankfully, a number of excellent support and counselling services available. Finding a support group, such as those offered by the mental health service, GROW, can be a great help. GROW has a network of over 130 groups across Ireland with a number dedicated to young people. Members provide mutual support, learn about mental health and encourage each other to make healthy changes to their thinking, behaviour and relationships. GROW is confidential, anonymous and, perhaps most important of all, free as the cost of private counselling puts it beyond the reach of many students.

Money troubles can be a constant worry for students, and financial stress can negatively affect mental health. Help may be available for students in need. St. Vincent de Paul Society has an emergency fund for students in financial difficulty and offers immediate assistance of up to €150 for short-term financial difficulties. Your campus SVP office can offer advice on financial problems and they work closely with the Student Union Welfare Office, which can assist with longer-term financial problems.

LGBT students can face additional pressures. While society has become more accepting in recent years, homophobic and transphobic bullying is still pervasive.

“Roughly there is a 40 per cent higher risk of LGBT younger people self-harming than the general population,” explains Tony Cooney of Gay Switchboard Dublin. “Bullying can carry on from school, at college, when people go to work. It has gotten a lot better over the years but some people still have to hide who they are.”

GSD is staffed by highly trained volunteers and based at Outhouse, the LGBT community centre in Dublin. The name is historical, Tony explains, and GSD offers support services, confidential listening and information for LGBT people of all ages across Ireland, and even further afield.

“There is a general perception that gay people have a great life and they are always in the bars and in the clubs, but there is research to prove that depression, self-harming and suicide rates are higher amongst LGBT people.”

GSD has traditionally worked by phone but are currently looking at developing their services, both online and in person.

“We’re starting a weekly drop-in sexual health support on Saturday afternoon at Outhouse. It will initially be for gay men but we hope to expand. There will be information on sexual health, free condom packs, we will take referrals for counsellors and in the new year we’ll start a personal development course as well.”

Mental and sexual health can be often closely aligned. Self-medicating through alcohol or drugs can lower inhibitions and increase risk-taking behaviour. Should you have engaged in unprotected sex, get in touch with an STI testing centre. The Well Woman Centre and the Everyman Centre in Dublin both offer confidential testing. They also offer services for victims of sexual abuse, and Well Woman can help with issues such as crisis pregnancy and contraception.

If you are depressed, are having suicidal thoughts, are self-harming or worried about a friend, please get help. Those of us who have lost a loved one by suicide often find that we have suicidal thoughts ourselves. It is imperative to reach out to others. Living Links was set up to assist people bereaved by suicide. Trained volunteers offer confidential and practical support. The service is free and available to anyone affected by suicide in some way.

Suicide is never the answer. It is important to remember you are not alone: one in four of us will suffer from mental health difficulties at some stage of our lives.

 

Related Articles

When An Interest In Sex Was Considered A Form of Madness

In terms of our understanding of the human mind, it is important to remember that we are only ever getting there. Not so long ago, after all, a woman who enjoyed sex was likely to be branded as a nymphomaniac.

Read More

In Goth We Trust

Irish author Conor O’Callaghan’s debut novel, the gothic mystery story Nothing On Earth, is one of the most gripping books of the year.

Read More

Book Review: Margaret Atwood, Hag-Seed:The Tempest Retold

Read More

Repeal The 8th & The Struggle Of Irish Women

Since the introduction of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution in 1983, women in Ireland have had to live with a shockingly restrictive regime on abortion, which has resulted in numerous deaths and untold trauma. Now, the Irish public is saying: no more…

Read More

Book Review: Mary Gaitskill The Mare

Read More

Men Are Sex Objects Too - Anne Sexton talks double standards and the female gaze

The myth that only men treat the opposite sex as objects, is just that - a myth. The sooner women are more honest about their lustful feelings, and the sooner society stops treating sexually open women as sluts the better it will be for all of us.

Read More

Book Review: Laura Kasischke Minds Of Winter

Laura Kasischke, the critically acclaimed and nationally bestselling poet and author returns with a tense psychological thriller

Read More

An Interview With Miranda Sawyer: Neither Out of Touch Nor Out Of Time

Journalist Miranda Sawyer’s compelling and humorous new book, Out Of Time, explores the challenges of turning forty and maintaining a rock and roll edge.

Read More

Book Review: Liz Nugent, Lying In Wait

Liz Nugent’s Lying in Wait comes with praise from Sebastian Barry and Marian Keyes, among others.

Read More

Meet UnderCurrent, a Cabaret Like No Other

UnderCurrent are a group unlike any other in Ireland. A mix of cabaret, musical theatre, burlesque, physical comedy, banter and dance, they are also the only performance troupe in the country composed entirely of LGBTQ members.

Read More

Hats Off To The Stone Roses

The progenitors of Britpop came to Marlay Park in Dublin yesterday – and the crowd lapped it up. Report: Anne Sexton

Read More

Book Review: Conor O'Callaghan, Nothing on Earth

Anne Sexton gives her take on Conor O'Callaghan's debut novel.

Read More

The Shoos talk to Anne Sexton about their comeback

This four-piece cut their teeth busking in Temple Bar, but their journey is just beginning.

Read More

Front Lines: Senior Citizens Make Abortion Pill Stand In NI

With women being given jail sentences for using the abortion pill in Northern Ireland, three activists decided that it was time to act – and made a startling confession to the PSNI.

Read More

Anne Sexton explores modern dating rituals and our First Dates obsession

First Dates offered a glimpse into the way people behave when they are looking for a romantic liaison - and maybe some sex into the bargain. But how different was the TV version from people's pursuit of a good time - and what does the history of dating tell us about how we view this ritual?

Read More

Book Review:Shrill Notes From A Loud Woman

Read More

Sex: Are You The Sexiest Version Of Yourself?

Read More

Book Review: Shylock is my name

Read More

A new beginning

Teenager David Beattie has written a powerful and insightful account of growing up trans in Ireland.

Read More

Tinder: Is there an orgy of hot sex waiting for you?

The ‘dating’ app makes great claims in relation to the numbers using it. But are people hooking up and having sex successfully through it? Now, that is a very good question…

Read More

Book Review: In the Wake of The Rising

Read More

Sexed Up: The Fuckzone is where bullies thrive.

Make no mistake, casual sex can be brilliant, wonderful, even life-affirming. But in the fuckzone, things are different. Because this is where a woman is just a piece of pussy or a man is no better than a dick or an asshole on legs...

Read More

Book Review: A Slanting Of The Sun Donal Ryan

Since the release of his acclaimed first novel, The Spinning Heart, Ryan has established himself as one of Ireland’s most talented writers.

Read More

Sex Column: Sex Equalled Shame

Eighties Ireland: in a country where divorce was impossible, unmarried mothers were treated like pariahs, gay sex was illegal and condoms could only be bought on prescription, finding the joy in sex was not easy. But the excitement of it was no less real.

Read More

Glenn Patterson Interview

Glenn Patterson’s latest novel tells the extraordinary story of John DeLorean’s time in Belfast – a saga of federal agents, undercover sting operations and alleged cocaine trafficking.

Read More

Sex Column: Ask every candidate will they repeal the 8th

The introduction of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution in 1983 was one of the most regressive pieces of manipulative political chicanery in the history of the Irish state. Repealing it is essential to establishing a regime in Ireland, which respects the reproductive rights of women. Let’s end the evasiveness by making it an election issue…

Read More

Book Review: Love Rewired By David Kavanagh

Read More

Book Review: The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

Read More

Paddy Hayes - Queen Of Spies

Read More

On The Abortion Pill Bus

It may be highly illegal, but Irish women - including TD Ruth Coppinger - are willing to risk jail by taking the abortion pill all over Ireland. Anne Sexton and Julia Schimkus travelled to Galway with the pro-choice activists...

Read More

Queen Of Ireland

Life is a drag for Miss Panti - but wonderfully so!

Read More

Hanya Yanagihara Interview

Anne Sexton chats to Hanya Yanagihara, whose second novel A Little Life has been the subject of truly rapturous reviews...

Read More

Undermajordomo Minor - Patrick DeWitt

Read More

Beneath The Earth - John Boyne

Read More

Who Said Foreplay Was Just For Girls?

Men have been lectured for a long time about how ladies need a bit of foreplay before getting it on. But that is an axiom that rubs both ways – because men tend to like a long, slow build-up too...

Read More

Sex Column: Who Said Foreplay Was Just For Girls?

Men have been lectured for a long time about how ladies need a bit of foreplay before getting it on. But that is an axiom that rubs both ways – because men tend to like a long, slow build-up too...

Read More

Sex Column: Why Didn't She Leave Him?

...Or, in a different situation, you might ask, why didn’t he leave her? Abusive relationships are unfortunately common – and both sexes are victims. But perhaps you have to have lived through one to really understand the cruel dynamics at work...

Read More

Glenn Patterson - Interview

Acclaimed author Glenn Patterson continues his exploration of the Northern Irish psyche in his latest book, which cherry-picks his finest non-fiction pieces from the last decade.

Read More

Sex Column: Pick-Up Artists Are Wankers

The crass outlook of pick-up artists is insulting and fails to recognise each individual's unique attractiveness

Read More

Sex Column: If You've Got Something Unusual Hiding In Your Pants, Let Me Know...

There are no rules as to how much you reveal to prospective sexual partners. But it is probably true that – most of the time anyway – honesty is the best policy...

Read More

David Norris Interview

Before the gay marriage ‘Yes’ vote had people dancing in the streets, before civil partnerships, before gay people could publicly identify as such, Senator David Norris was waging a brave and often thankless fight on behalf of minorities in Ireland. In his first major interview since the referendum he recounts his long struggle with prejudice in Ireland...

Read More

Interview with Tender Author Belinda McKeon

With her second novel Tender dealing with homosexuality, emotional abuse and mental illness, Belinda McKeon reflects on the repressive, oppressive culture of mid '90s Ireland and the perverse pleasure she takes in pushing readers' buttons.

Read More

Sex Column: Sex On The Beach

It may be the name of a cocktail, but it is also a reasonably popular pastime. So is public sex a good idea? And how are you best to go about it?

Read More

Grey - EL James

Read More

Sex Column: Why Sex Is Evil...

Every now and then, they come out of the woodwork: people who believe that thinking, talking and writing about sex in a positive way is a sin and should be punished. It is a bit scary when someone like this tracks down your email address just to tell you...

Read More

Joy Unconfined - Marriage Equalitiy

As the results came in, crowds gathered in Dublin Castle to hear them. It became on of he biggest and best parties Ireland has ever seen...

Read More

Anne Enright - The Green Road

The novel is about an Irish family and all their problems in life from 1980 on and written in episodic style.

Read More

Sex Column: The Right To Love In Broad Daylight

It is vital to gay couples that the upcoming referendum on same sex marriage should be passed. But an even bigger prize is the feeling that we are living in an open, inclusive society that a resounding victory would inspire. So, make sure to get out and vote ‘Yes’...

Read More

Sex Column: Why I'd Like To Be A Man

When it comes to sex, men have it far easier and far better than women. In fact, there are ten good reasons why a sex change might just be the best option...

Read More

Sex Column: We Need More Sex, Not Less

A lot of concern has been expressed in conventional media about ‘hook-up’ culture. Curiously, however, the impact of social media and online mate-seeking sites seems to be that people are having less sex rather than more. Something will have to be done about it, is all we can say...

Read More

Sex Column: You Lick Mine And I'll Suck Yours!

It is an invitation that most people would find extremely difficult to turn down. But there are those who prefer giving head one at a time to the classic 69. Which side of the great oral sex debate are you on?

Read More

Sex Column: 9 Things I Learned About Sex

When Hot Press ran a competition for a columnist to write about sex, the competition was pretty hot. In the end, we chose a certain feisty, red-headed female, who wrote with wit, verve and style – and whose name just happened to have the word ‘sex’ in it. Clearly it was a role that she had been destined to, um, perform...

Read More

Sex Column: Women Enjoy Porn

And there’s nothing wrong with that! Indeed, while sexual conservatives try to claim otherwise, the reality is that men and women are really very similar in their appetites for sex, porn and all the rest...

Read More

Sex Column: Give And You Shall Receive Sex...

That was the implied message in Teleflora’s 2012 Valentine’s Day ad, which featured the model Adriana Lima. Is that really what romance is all about?

Read More

Sex Column: 2015 Will Be The Year Of BDSM

That’s bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism to you and me. Oh, and there will also be copious face- sitting; lots of gay sex – some of it within marriage hopefully; and vibrators that know what you like. Bring it on!

Read More

Inside Ireland's BDSM Scene

During the Graham Dwyer murder trial, members of the Irish BDSM scene were sometimes depicted in unflattering terms. So what is BDSM all about?

Read More

Hot Press examines the Housing Crisis

Cowboy landlords, substandard living conditions and ever increasing costs are just some of the problems facing people in rented accommodation, and many of those in difficulty are afraid to speak up.

Read More

Sex Column: Sex Is In The Air

But not always in a good way! Because someone out there apparently thinks that sex toys specially designed and packaged for Christmas are, like, a good idea! Starting with the Barack Obama dildo…

Read More

Sex Column: I Rather Like My Friend's Husband, So...

It’s a tough one. The man you want just happens to be hooked up — with your best friend. If you really want him, there’s only one way to go about it. But should you dare?...

Read More

Seek And Ye Shall Find - Get Working Special

As Ireland emerges from a period of economic turbulence, there are now a myriad of ways to get a foothold in the jobs market.

Read More

WHY IS NOBODY INTERESTED IN SHAGGING ME?

That’s a question that more or less everyone has had to ask themselves at some time in their lives. Because, modern mating methods notwithstanding, getting regular sex is still a minefield for a lot of people to negotiate…

Read More

Sex Column: Warnings About Rape Are All Very Well, But…

It doesn’t make sense to start blaming social media for what is a horrible crime. Because the truth is that women are entitled to go about their lives free of the fear of rape…

Read More

Mental Health Special - Mind, Body, Spirit

It may be a cliché but there is a lot of truth to the notion of “a healthy body, healthy mind.” As Bressie notes in his emotional fitness tips, the food you eat affects your mood, and physical activity promotes the creation of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good.

Read More

Front Lines: Volunteer Force

Time spent overseas volunteering shouldn’t be treated as a holiday and is only worthwhile if you are prepared to put in some hard graft...

Read More

Sex Column: Sex is good for you

That, as they say, is a bold statement. But new research has indicated that the association that has often been made between casual sex and lower self-esteem is really a product of prevailing religious-based orthodoxies. Having sex will not cure depression. But as an aspect of a holistic approach to our well-being, it can play a vital role…

Read More

Blackboard Jungle - Tana French Interview

She has chronicled the seamy side of Dublin in her novels. Now crime writer Tana French turns her attention to the privileged elite of south Dublin

Read More

Sex Column: Should I Make A Sex Tape?

Everyone else seems to be! However, the recent celebrity Hackergate scandal throws up a multitude of intriguing questions about the wisdom of recording DIY porn...

Read More

LET’S TEACH ABOUT SEX

We all know how enjoyable a bit of role-playing is – especially when it comes to sexual matters. So get down on your knees: our resident sexpert Anne Sexton is about to give you a lecture…

Read More

So who is best at sex, then?

Is it the Yanks with their enthusiasm; the Aussies with their frankness; or the Germans with their, umm, precision? And how do Irish men compare with their international peers? Anne Sexton road-tested males of eight different nationalities (not in the last fortnight, you understand) and is delighted to offer her educated view on the subject...

Read More

AFTER I LOST MY VIRGINITY, THE SECOND PERSON I TOLD WAS MY MOTHER… - Sex Column

It makes a huge difference to your sexual development – and ultimately to your sexual happiness – if you can talk about things openly with your mother...

Read More

COCK RINGS CAN BE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND

They have a long and distinguished history, and nowadays come in all shapes, sizes and colours – but the basic latex cock ring beats the rest hands down, where making sex better for women and men alike is concerned.

Read More

Sex Column: You Want Sex? Just Say Yes

A debate is currently raging about the idea of ‘Enthusiastic Consent’. That’s when you say ‘yes, please’ to having sex with someone else. But should that be required under the law? It is, as they say, an interesting one...

Read More

Live review: Panti in Vicar Street

The beloved drag queen deals with the serious business of "Panti-gate" and more in hilarious fashion in new show High Heels in Low Places

Read More

Why did I shag that guy – I mean girl?

Whoever you had sex with, and whatever he or she looked like, there is someone out there in academia who wants to try and explain it. But the fact is that sex is – thankfully! – far more complicated than your average bit of social research allows. The question that really matters is: how can we all have better sex?

Read More

Drugs and sex

There are those who might say that it is an unholy combination. But from the pill through LSD to Viagra, chemical agents have made a huge difference to our ability to enjoy ourselves sexually...

Read More

Darragh McKeon - All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

Read More

Eoin McNamee - Blue Is The Night

Read More

He's having sex with another woman!

And you know it. So should you tell the wife or girlfriend who is being cheated on? Or would you let a bloke know if his wife was having it off with someone else? It's an interesting conundrum indeed...

Read More

To shy, shy...

Social awkwardness can be endearing in moderate quantities but, come on guys, let's not overbake the pudding here...

Read More

Are you a vagina-having, sex-loving, men-fancying single person?

If so, then read on. For what follows is a primer in how to escape the clutches of the very scary and decidedly horrible breed known as MRA pick-up artists

Read More

Kate Atkinson - Life after Life

Read More

Sex Column: Let's have the big debate

It's only February - and already a series of controversies on sex and sexuality have erupted. It is you might say, a sign of the times...

Read More

Sex: Gifts keep on giving

Is giving a gift on Valentine’s Day the ultimate expression of love or just a way of getting into someone else's underwear? A good question: now read on, for a happy ending...

Read More

2014: Sex is about to get even hotter

While the basics remain constant, the sexual climate is likely to get even better over the coming 12 months. But with apps emerging to measure every aspect of performance, there may be a few downsides too...

Read More

Hot Press Interview with Anne Enright

A winner of the Booker Prize for 2007’s The Gathering, Anne Enright is one of the most acclaimed contemporary Irish authors. During a recent Q&A at the Write Touch competition, run by HOT PRESS in association with ALCATEL ONETOUCH she discussed the creative process, the pressures faced by female writers – and the subject matter of her next novel.

Read More

I won't have Sex on Camera

There are some things which even a well-known sex columnist won’t do (perhaps Paris Hilton shouldn’t have either). One of the most important sex lessons we all have to learn is to respect other people’s limits…

Read More

Hot Press Interview with Donal Ryan

Though his debut novel suffered multiple rejections, Donal Ryan has nonetheless received widespread critical praise – not to mention several awards – for his books The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December

Read More

Woman are guilty of Sexual Harrassment too

The cliché is that men are responsible for 95% of sexual harassment and rape cases. But the truth is very different...

Read More

Hot Press Health Special: A Little Fit of What You Fancy

Being healthy, fit and trim is not only good for your bodily well-being – it will also make you a more attractive person. Let Hot Press be your guide to toning up and shedding pounds in time for Christmas.

Read More

So what do Women really not want?

Well, the last thing they want – and this may go for blokes too – is to feel that they are being hounded into a ‘relationship’ on the basis of a single encounter. Never forget that there really is an art to seduction...

Read More

The Milf and the Fury - Interview with Anakana Schofield

She’s as quirky in person as on the page, with firmly held – and loudly expressed – thoughts about the sexuality of middle-aged women. Little wonder Irish-Canadian author Anakana Schofield is drawing curious glances from the moment she strolls into a quiet Dublin hotel

Read More

Suburban Homesick Blues

Poet turned novelist Justin Quinn explains how his middle-class Dublin upbringing informed his best-selling new book

Read More

Does A Bigger Dick Make For Better Sex?

It is an interesting question. The problem is that not everyone is agrees on the answer! So let’s get it out in the open…

Read More

Fun, Flirty, Fit And Attractive Blonde Up For No Holds Barred Casual Sex

The world of classified ads is a curious one. If you are advertising your wares, is it best to big yourself up – or to play down your (fabulous) attractions? Well, there is one way of finding out…

Read More

Galway: The College View

onathan Byrne, Events Manager at NUI Galway’s College Bar, gives us the lowdown on the hip happenings across the city...

Read More
 

Advertise With Us


For information including benefits, key facts, figures and rates for advertising with Hot Press, click below

Advertise

Find us elsewhere