Belfast Telegraph

Personal stories: Jemma Dolan is VP of Campaigns and Communications at the University of Ulster Students' Union

The University of Ulster has received a Big Lottery Fund grant of £6,940 to roll out a suicide awareness project, led by Pips Programmes, across its four campuses.

This is part of the Awards for All grants roll-out of £666,241 to 80 groups across Northern Ireland.

Jemma Dolan (23), from Belleek in Co Fermanagh, said: "Statistics have revealed that one in four people will suffer from a mental health problem during their lifetime.

"University can be a very stressful time – you could be living away from home for the first time, there are financial pressures, and pressure to make new friends.

"Students might not always feel comfortable talking about their problems so we are there to make sure that everybody knows there is nothing to be ashamed of – there should be no stigma attached. We are here to help.

"Last year there were three suicides in the university. We hadn't had any for years before that. We thought that is it better to be proactive than reactive."

The project ran on a smaller scale last year, but Jemma said the Awards for All grant will allow the group to develop training.

"It's a great cause and something that we always need to be building on," she added.

The sessions will run in the last week in February and the first week in March.

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