Yesterday evening saw the first Student Support Symposium at The Bridge to raise staff and student awareness of existing support services available to University of Southampton students.

As well as raising awareness of support, the Symposium was intended to let people hear about students’ first-hand experiences of mental ill health and to start working towards a ‘One Click’ system, where you will you will be guided through a series of questions online to reach the appropriate support quickly.

The evening, run by our Advice Centre and Peer Support team at the Union,  included the student-run services Student Minds and Nightline and the University’s Enabling Services, as well as account from student speakers who had experienced mental ill health.

The first student speaker passionately described living with Asperger’s Syndrome and Depression through a degree, commenting “There were numerous times, during this period, where I genuinely thought about ditching uni altogether. Returning home with my tail metaphorically between my legs and resigning myself to the fact that Depression and Asperger’s combined, had beaten me”.

A second student from the Medical School read a moving account, outlining her journey coming to terms with depression.

Over thirty students and academic staff attended including the University of Southampton’s Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Christopher Snowden.

If you are experiencing mental health problems, we are here to help and support you. You can access links to these support services on the Union Southampton website at www.unionsouthampton.org/support