The University of Sheffield and its Students’ Union are the first organisations in the country to back a campaign led by Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid by pledging to take positive action to promote mental wellbeing and prevent suicide.
On World Suicide Prevention Day, the Lord Mayor has launched an initiative which aims to encourage 100 companies and organisations across the UK to sign a Suicide Prevention Charter before the end of September.
Councillor Magid, who became Lord Mayor of Sheffield in May, asked the University of Sheffield and its Students’ Union to be the first to commit to the pledge, which urges organisations to break the silence, offer mental health support and educate their communities to reduce the risk of suicide and self-harming behaviour.
Professor Wyn Morgan, Vice-President for Education at the University of Sheffield, said: “Opening up about mental health difficulties is one of the hardest things a young person can do and promoting positive mental health is an important responsibility for universities, but also society as a whole. We work together with our Students’ Union to ensure our University is a place where students and staff feel safe to speak about mental health and to seek help.
“We’re honoured that the Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid chose the University of Sheffield to launch this important campaign, which is also backed by the Samaritans, and hope others will also support this initiative. Sheffield was the country’s first City of Sanctuary, a place that welcomes those who have faced distress. We are committed to working with our partners on positive mental health and suicide prevention, for the good of all those who make our University their home.”
As we know, mental health affects everyone, regardless of background, and the aim of this campaign is to get as many organisations across the country to sign up and pledge to enhance or create policies that are going to improve the mental health of their members and colleagues
The UK Suicide Prevention Charter urges organisations to create, evolve and enhance policies to support mental wellbeing and to develop their understanding of the risk factors around suicide so they can target interventions.
The University of Sheffield offers mental health support information to all students as part of their university enrolment and induction including: how to look after your mental wellbeing; early recognition of common mental health problems such as stress/anxiety/depression; how and where to get help; what to do if you are having suicidal thoughts; and how to help your friends. It is also committed to creating an open culture around mental wellbeing for staff and offers a wide range of support, advice and information.
Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid said: “As we know, mental health affects everyone, regardless of background, and the aim of this campaign is to get as many organisations across the country to sign up and pledge to enhance or create policies that are going to improve the mental health of their members and colleagues. We want to send out a message that more can be done to prevent suicide and to educate people. We want as many people as possible to take the pledge and take that step further.”
He added: “It was a no brainer for me to ask the University of Sheffield to launch this campaign and get them to be the first people to sign up to the pledge because they already do so much amazing work. They are a university of sanctuary and it felt like a good representation of what this campaign is about so I am really grateful for their support.”
The campaign has also been backed by the Samaritans – a national charity which offers support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide.
To support the campaign, or for more information, visit: https://www.magicmagid.com/suicideprevention