Student charity Nightline emphasises the importance of World Mental Health Day

The Edinburgh Nightline charity is attempting to tackle the growing problem of mental health issues among university students in the capital.

One in four students in Scotland are currently suffering with a form of psychological illness.

Today, on World Mental Health Day, the Scottish Government have announced that they are increasing the funding for mental health services by £500,000 to help deal with the growing amount of people who have a mental illness.

A student experience survey conducted by the Guardian, showed that 87% of first year students struggle to cope with social or academic aspects of university life. Finances, exams and transitioning to living away from home all pile on the pressure to new and existing scholars.

Nightline is a student service that provides for all of the universities throughout Edinburgh.  It is an anonymous and confidential listening service, which people can call or message online to talk about any of their problems.  

Nightline offers support and information every night of term from 8pm-8am

The charity’s networking coordinator, Sophie Mair, believes that the amount of students experiencing depression, anxiety and stress will only get worse if extra support is not provided.

She said: “Mental health is a big problem in Scotland and it’s only going to get larger if resources aren’t in place to help students.

“Nightline is an imperative student service, it is a confidential, non-judgemental listening service that is open during the night when a lot of other services are closed and people feel more vulnerable.

“The idea of the service isn’t to offer advice, but rather to just listen and support as much as possible.”

Students can get involved with the charity to provide support by volunteering for the group.

The volunteer stated: “Applications for volunteering happen around September, October and February of each year.

“We have just closed applications for this semester, however, they will open again next February.

“Sessions are run before the application deadline to give people an idea of what the service is about and if it’s something they would be interested in joining.”If you have any problems that you would like to talk to someone about in confidence you can call Nightline on: 0131 557 4444

Or you can chat with a volunteer online at: http://ednightline.com/instant-messenger/

Written by Kirsty-Ann Wilson

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