This year the Stirling Students’ Union welcomes the brand new Stirling University Mental Wellbeing Society.
Despite efforts to increase awareness and de-stigmatize mental illnesses at Stirling, sufferers still struggle to get the help and support they need.
Criminology and Sociology student Rylee Binns took it upon themselves to create a safe space for students struggling with mental health issues.
“I decided to start SUMW because I know many people who have mental health issues who have not received support whilst awaiting appointments with psychiatry/psychology (this can be up to 12 months) therefore those who are struggling have no where to turn to.”
Binns, who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, understands how important it is for sufferers to have a strong support system. “The past year has been very difficult but I’ve had people around me who support me. I want the society to be students support network,” they said.
The society’s aim is to support those students who have mental health issues and to raise awareness about mental health. It also welcomes those who care about mental health and wish to educate themselves.
Union President Dave Keenan has expressed his support for the society.
“Mental health issues are one of the biggest challenges which face students today. One of my priorities for the year ahead is addressing mental health. I want students to start talking more openly about the issues the face be it to a friend or a professional. Talking about our mental health is the first step to recovery, but so many people can’t make that first step. That’s why I think its great that our students have set up a mental health and wellbeing society. The society will be vital in kick-starting a serious discussion about mental health and will hopefully encourage students to be more proactive about their health.”
– Dave Keenan
Binns, who also served as President for the LGBT+ Society, thinks their experience with the Students’ Union will help run SUMW.
“In terms of things I have learned, one in particular would be organising events and approaching outside agencies to come along and hold events for the society. I also think that being the president its key to delegate tasks and the committee as a whole is vital to the running of a society,” they said.
The society has a variety of events planned for the semester, including their “Destress Sesh” Give it a Go on the 20th of September. Other events include a collaboration with the Disney Society for an origami night and a film screening of Finding Nemo with a discussion afterwards, as well yoga and mindfulness sessions.
Meetings will be held every Tuesday at 8pm in Cottrell 2B86.