With UK student satisfaction at an all time low, according to continued decreases in average satisfaction levels in the National Student Survey, it is more important than ever that students feel like they have somewhere to talk about their struggles. From 19 – 25 November, Nightline Awareness Week promoted the listening service Nightline within the university and hoped to encourage people to be heard and raise publicity of the service, spreading the message that mental health matters.
The week included Friendly Runners Club, a quiz, a knitting session with Knitting Society, and a film night in association with the Cinema Society. Bananas had been handed out in the Hive and the Nightline Bear had been spotted all over campus. Each event is targeted towards increased wellbeing; eating healthily, relaxing and physical activity to relieve stress. It is important to remember that there are activities on campus to help you blow off steam.
Nightline Awareness Week certainly has increased awareness for the service, but more importantly increased the amount that people are talking about their mental health. During the Knitting Society session almost everyone said that they took up knitting because it relieved the stress of doing their college or uni work. This emphasises how important doing activities that offer relief and allow you to relax are. It was clear that the group enjoyed making something, as they felt productive. But it’s important to note that it also offered a welcomed distraction, especially now that courses are entering summative season.
Jake Goddard, a Nightline representative, believes that the ‘awareness week has gone very well. Nightline is better known to students now than it was the week before, and every extra person who knows about our service makes all the difference. By encouraging students to be heard, we hope to have empowered people to think about how they may be feeling, and to understand that Nightline is always there to listen.
‘As with everything, there is always room for improvement and we hope that next year’s awareness week will be bigger and better than any before. Things like this are always important for a service like Nightline.
‘Hopefully next year we will finally get a permanent office space that suits the purposes and practises of our anonymous service. Until then, we will continue to serve the students of UEA and NUA as best as we can with our temporary provisions.’