Male students leave seeking help until it’s too late, according to the Leeds Met Students’ Union which has launched a new campaign to raise awareness amongst men of the university’s counselling service.
Students are being asked to get their creative caps on and produce material which will appeal to male students. The aim is to encourage men to seek counselling if they are experiencing emotional problems and distress. In the UK the suicide rate amongst men aged 15 to 24 has risen alarmingly over the last 15 years yet young men are often reluctant to seek help.
The campaign includes a poster and short film competition. Winning entries will appear in 25 participating bars and clubs as well as 10 shops in the city centre and Headingley.
The winner will be presented with prizes at the Drama Society’s Open Stage Night. Currently the Leeds Met Counselling Service offers daily drop in sessions at the Civic Quarter on every weekday and at The Cottage at Headingley Campus on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Men’s mental health hit the headlines recently after German goalkeeper, Robert Enke, committed suicide following a struggle with depression.
PR officer at the Students Union, Adam Burns said: “We hope that by launching this campaign we can make the counselling service more accessible to fellow male students. After hearing about Robert Enke’s battle with depression it made our campaign relevant and we feel it is important to ensure that Leeds Met students who suffer from mental health issues are aware of the help available. Male students should not feel ashamed of seeking help as it takes a great deal of courage to do so.”
Counsellor at Leeds Metropolitan University, Sue Dominey said: “It can be difficult to admit you are experiencing problems, feeling emotionally upset and worried, if everyone else around you appears fine. Sometimes men wear a ‘mask of cool’ on the outside, which hides inner distress and vulnerability. I believe it is a sign of strength and courage for a man to ask for help.”
The closing date for the competition is the 9th of December and prizes on offer include gig tickets, books, gym membership and one mystery prize. There will also be a winner selected from all the entries from public relations students and the winner will have the opportunity to become part of the students’ union PR team.
For more information please visit www.leedsmetstudentsunion.blogspot.com