UCDSU Help Prevent Youth Suicide
€100,000 for Education & Supports
Ireland has the 4th highest youth suicide rate in Europe but it's charities rather than Government that provide more critical services to those at risk of suicide.
UCD Students’ Union committed to raising €100,000 for one of these charities – Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland— because of the alarming levels of suicide amongst Irish students. 131 college students die by suicide every year according to reported figures. 581 UCD students signed up to fulfil this commitment and help us fund a preventative education programme for secondary schools and a badly needed national crisis counselling programme for secondary school students.
UCDSU launched a mass charity skydive to help raise money
Meeting with YSPI at Irish Parachute Club in Clonbullogue
YSPI, IPC & UCDSU open charity skydive registrations on campus - November 4th
YSPI's Alan McKelvie helped us get students signed up
Our YSPI campus mascot also roused the crowds
So far this year, they’ve helped us raise over €100,000 in donations for Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland. 90% of the funds raised have gone directly to YSPI, our overheads currently stand at €10,250.
With the money we’ve raised, YSPI will be able to provide a 70% increase in school visits for the new school year in September 2016 from 210 visits to 360 visits.
YSPI has also been able to bring forward plans for Free2Talk, their National Youth Crisis Counselling Service which will provide up to 50 minutes of free counselling with a fully qualified and registered counsellor either face to face or online.
The support of UCD Students’ Union will initially allow them to offer around 100 sessions of free youth counselling per week.
However, the ways in which we’ve raised the money have raised a few eyebrows as well. We produced and sold 3,000 naked calendars over the college Christmas break. 38 students from those signed up to skydive modelled for this naked Christmas calendar and our funds subsequently shot up from sales and from the publicity as the stunt was covered by the Irish Times, the Irish Independent, the Journal, RTÉ 2fm & the Ryan Tubridy Show.
Our charity calendars are on sale online: www.ucdsu.yspi.eu/calendar
Cheeky sneak preview!
Student skydivers strike a power pose
Following our naked Christmas calendar, we organised a huge bucket collection as part of UCD Raising & Giving Week. Over 60 students got up early on Monday morning and went out to raise money in Clonskeagh, Ranelagh, Stillorgan and in Dublin city centre. We donated a quarter of the proceeds to Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland as one of our four designated RAG Week charities.
We hosted a further 30+ events over the course of RAG Week to raise more money and gave each fundraiser for YSPI a specially dedicated text2donate line so that they could raise money off texts from friends.
Our Campaigns Officer Cian Byrne shaves it all off for charity
Stephens Green Bucket Collection
Seán came out to collect with a broken arm
First time doing a street collection!
Big thanks to Ger Byrne for our branding!
All early morning smiles from UCD RAG Week Crew, Feb 1 - 4th
Over the last five months, 113 UCD students have surpassed their €500 individual minimum fundraising target through a combination of donations received from friends, family, specially organized sports events, live music sessions, club nights and table quizzes.
While people have questioned organizing fun events for something as inherently tragic as youth suicide, it’s important to note that YSPI depend on these kind of public fundraising campaigns to continue their national schools visit programme.
Stephen swam 21km in UCD Pool to raise money
Best ever cake for a bakesale fundraiser ever!
Our fundraising campaign is a platform for UCD students to contribute and actively do something about the issue of youth suicide at a time when our response as a nation to what has been publicly termed as the “great epidemic of this generation” is lacking in coherence and is dependent on charities and other non-governmental organisations.
National funding initiatives for suicide prevention, and youth suicide in particular, have been seriously reduced by Government in successive austerity budgets following major economic recession in 2008.
However, with the money we have been able to provide so far, and thanks to YSPI’s targeted preventative action strategy, direct initiatives including crisis counselling and educational programmes are being rolled out in secondary schools across Ireland so as to make a significant impact on suicide rates among young people.
We hope other Irish students’ unions get behind similar fundraising campaigns because boosting resources to suicide prevention charities like YSPI would see more direct initiatives in schools and colleges, increased support for local support groups, potential funding for a national Online Counseling Service and, ultimately, a targeted change for Irish youth suicide rates.
Right now if you’d like to refer your old secondary school to the YSPI Outreach team for participation in their Schools Visit programme, you can use a referral form set up on our specially dedicated campaign website:
Alan McKelvie (YSPI) congratulates Cian Byrne (UCDSU) on a great fundraising campaign
Fun Fact: Cian hates skydiving, is absolutely terrified of heights
Free-falling from 10,000 feet
Conquering your fears
Challenge yourself and join us!
Help Prevent Youth Suicide: ucdsu.yspi.eu