In light of recent studies showing that male students are at an increased risk of suicide, Birkbeck University of London are pioneering a strategy in consultation with students that specifically aims to improve its male students’ mental health.
Less likely to seek help until crisis point, young men find themselves affected by the societal pressures placed upon them. The expectation to downplay and ‘man up’ are viewed as catalysts for suicide attempts within this high-risk demographic.
Having become the first university in the UK to assess this issue, Birkbeck found ‘worrying results’ which called for a plan of action, and dismantling ideas of hyper-masculinity became a priority. From poster campaigns to videos showing a typical counselling session, the project produced positive results in getting male students to open up and utilise the institution’s services.
The university’s outreach team is hopeful for the future ahead, and keen to create an effective blueprint widely used by universities across the country.