Various events will be held on the day such as the Please Talk Annual General Meeting, which will be held at 5pm in meeting rooms 5, 6 and 7 of the New Student Centre. The A.G.M. will allow for the election of a new chairperson and committee for the coming year. In the evening at 7pm, there will be a panel discussion in association with the Literary & Historical Society and UCD Students’ Union on the topic “We need to talk about mental health”.
The Please Talk campaign began in UCD to promote the message that “Talking is a sign of strength, not weakness”. This message was recently backed up by research conducted in the My World survey, which found that those who share their problems enjoy better mental health. The survey also found that not talking about a problem is linked to suicidal behaviour.
Please Talk has become a national campaign in recent years, with every third level institution in the country registered on the Please Talk campaign’s website, pleasetalk.org, also on its sixth year having been launched in 2007. UCDSU Vice-President for Welfare, Mícheál Gallagher, commented saying: “The website gives you a list of every support service in your college; a list of student advisors, welfare officers, councillors but also external support services that exist such as Aware and Bodywise.”
A mural has been painted by a volunteer UCD student, Alejandro Criadom, for the event, based on the theme “Who did you talk to today?” The basis for this mural theme, according to Gallagher, is “making people think, making them constantly aware that if they do have a problem, there are services here in the college.”
“Please Talk day is the joint institute between the students and the college itself and throughout the entire year the student support team have been so helpful and so supportive; the student advisors, the academics and the chaplaincy, always receiving plenty of support from these people.” Gallagher stated.
The theme for this year’s Please Talk day is based on financial stress and its effect on student health. Looking at the My World survey from 2012,” Gallagher explained, “it is evident that money is the top stressor and 60 per cent of young adults report being stressed over their financial situation.”