Seats of silence: in memory of the students lost to suicide

Powerful image pays tribute to students lost to suicide for University Mental Health Day

Seats of silence: raising awareness on University Mental Health Day, The Student Room lay out 95 graduation gowns for every university student lost to suicide in the space of one year. 

To raise awareness of suicide and mental health issues amongst UK university students, The Student Room and young suicide prevention charity PAPYRUS have partnered for University Mental Health Day (Thursday 7 March), releasing images that pay tribute to the 95 lives lost in the space of one year, according to the latest ONS statistics.

An image released today, on University Mental Health Day (Thursday 7 March), by The Student Room (TSR) and national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide aims to raise awareness of suicide and mental health issues among UK university students. The 95 graduation gowns represent each life lost to suicide in the space of one year.

In the past 12 months alone, discussions in our Mental Health forum have been viewed 1.4 million times
– Mhairi Underwood, head of community at TSR

The partnership between TSR and PAPYRUS aims to draw attention to the severity of mental health issues amongst UK university students and encourage more conversation to help reduce the stigma that surrounds it.

On the day of University Mental Health Day, representatives from PAPYRUS and TSR will be supporting and contributing to a live Q&A panel on site, where students have the opportunity to ask any questions surrounding mental health, university support and how to manage their own health at university. Anyone can read or take part in the panel on site here.

“We are working with The Student Room to encourage conversation in the safe space of their community,” said Kelly Thorpe, head of helpline services at PAPYRUS. “Greater awareness of the help and support available to students, such as PAPYRUS helpline services, can only encourage a suicide-safer university environment.”

Mhairi Underwood, head of community at TSR, said: “In the past 12 months alone, discussions in our Mental Health forum have been viewed 1.4 million times, which is an increase of 23% from the year before. From dealing with anxiety around exams and loneliness, to helping friends with thoughts of suicide, students need support in overcoming mental health challenges. We want to encourage two-way conversations and provide young people with a safe space where they feel able to share their concerns, however big or small.”

According to the latest ONS statistics, the rate of suicides among higher education students in the UK between July 2016 to 2017 equated to a minimum 95 deaths.

Advice and support

If you, or a young person you know, would like confidential suicide prevention advice, contact Papyrus on 0800 068 4141 or www.pat@papyrus-uk.org

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