Mental health charity encourages awareness as student suicide rates rise

The Kingston branch of Time to Change, the mental health social movement, aims to work with Kingston University Student Union to recruit Time to Change Champions.

Time to Change Champions are student representatives who organise events and start conversations about mental health to encourage inclusion and break stigma.

Persephone Pickering, Time to Change Kingston Hub co-ordinator, said: “We were very pleased to see the enthusiasm and creative ideas being shared with us by students keen to apply for the Champions Fund at the Kingston University Volunteering Fair.

“We are hoping to work closely with Kingston University and the Students Union to create a Time to Change society.

“We think it is a great way for students to develop new skills they can use for CVs as well as reducing mental health stigma amongst Kingston University students.”

To qualify to become Champions for Time to Change, students must have lived experiences of mental health problems.

This can be undiagnosed, and students with past mental health issues that have been resolved also qualify.

Time to Change has a Champion Fund with a budget of £10,000 to spend on Champion events.

Each Champion in a group or individually can request maximum £500 to run their social awareness event anywhere in the Royal Borough of Kingston including University.

Champions can share as much as they are comfortable with about their own experiences of mental health problems.

According to the Education Policy Institute, since the year 2001, student suicide rates have increased by 52 percent.

Studies show students quietly suffering with their mental health are more likely to seek help if engaged in conversation and experiences of mental health is shared.

For more information on Time to Change Kingston and the Champion scheme contact Persephone Pickering: persephone@healthwatchkingston or fill in the form here.

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