University can be a very intimidating prospect for most students. New people, heavier workloads, independence…. but for some, the experience can be a bit too over-whelming. However, the University of Southampton provides excellent support for those in need, and the Wessex Scene went along to SUSU’s Help and Support Day to find out more.
Support provided by the University is often over-looked by many students, I myself choosing not to go to the event put on by SUSU during my Freshers’ Week. However, even though such events are widely publicised, many do not know the extent of the help that’s on offer because they simply have no need for it.
Those who do, however, have a large variety of groups they can go to, including Careers Destinations, Victim Support, Nightline, Hampshire Constabulary and many more.
From 10am to 3pm on Tuesday, September 25, these support groups occupied the Students’ Union, allowing new Freshers to talk to them and find out more about the help and support available within Southampton. The Wessex Scene spoke to a few of the stalls to find out how they helped students.
Nightline is a student led information and listening service available to students who need someone impartial to talk to. They are completely confidential and run from 8pm to 8am during term time, allowing students to talk to trained volunteers without worry. They also encourage students to become a Nightline volunteer.
Number: 02380 595236 (Halls) 25236.
Lily Beaumont explained that SRSH is a group at Southampton that mainly helps people with eating disorders, but can also give advice to those suffering from problems such as OCD and depression. They hold sessions every other week from 7:30pm-9pm to provide a safe and understanding place for those suffering to meet friendly faces, talk over their problems, or just simply sit and listen to those around them.
Look out for flyers and emails for more information.
Aisha from the Early Years stall described the importance of quality care and education for children of those studying or working at the University. They offer a range of activities, available to children aged four months to five years, which include painting, drawing, cooking and much more. They are situated on Highfield Campus and are available for 50 weeks of the year, providing a stable childcare unit for young children.
Contact: EarlyYearsCentre@southampton.ac.uk or 02380 593465.
Brett, a part-time councillor at Star Project, emphasised the importance of help available to those who have suffered from rape and abuse. As well as offering advice to groups of young people in schools and colleges, Star Project uses therapeutic groups to help those who have suffered from sexual abuse as well as one-to-one counselling sessions.
Helpline: 02380 636313
Sunday: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Tuesday: 10:00am – 1:00pm
Thursday: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
We also spoke to Hampshire Constabulary about their work against crime in Southampton. Their main advice was to get to know your local area and places of safety in case of emergencies, as well as simple security procedures such as locking doors and windows before you go out. They also emphasised the use of ‘Immobilise’, a free national property database that allows you to register your belongings. Most importantly, make sure you always know how you are going to get home after a night out, and that you are never alone.
Contact: 101 or in emergencies 999.
Finally, we asked a few people what they thought of SUSU’s Help and Support Day:
Alice, BA Music:
“It’s been really good – there’s lots of information and we know where to go to now if we ever have a problem whilst at uni.”
Natalie, BA Music:
“The free stuff is always good…we didn’t know about victim support before and we didn’t expect the uni cops to make an appearance.”
Raphael, BA English:
“I attended a welcome week for internationals that was very helpful.”
Chloe Green, VP Welfare and Communities, commented,
“I think sometimes people hear ‘The Advice Centre’ or ‘SUSU support’ and feel a little turned off, like support or guidance is for ‘vulnerable’ people – and who wants to admit to being vulnerable? But we all go through tougher times at university and there’s no shame in that; it’s perfectly normal. It would be silly to deny asking for help, just to save face. SUSU knows that and that’s why we have Help and Support Day as the second day of Freshers’ Week, to fully embed our support services into SUSU’s culture. It’s all free: for goodness’ sake, use it!”
For more information on Help and Support offered at the University of Southampton visit www.susu.org.