We are currently experiencing a climate of cut-backs and closures in the public and private sectors.
We know that disabled people are hit the hardest. We need to defend and extend the services and resources we have fought for in the past to ensure that disabled students can still access the support we need.
Our anti-cuts work consists of several strands:
- Continue to protect Disabled Students Allowance and promote a more effective system
- Campaign against cuts to benefits and welfare schemes at a national level
- Support students' union officers to campaign against cuts at a local and campus level
Disabled Students and Representation
The representation of disabled students is the key to real change.
Far too often, disabled people are cut out of decision-making processes because they are inaccessible or irrelevant. It’s also vital that decisions about disabled people are led by disabled people.
The NUS Disabled Students’ campaign believes that the representation of disabled people at a local level is the heart of our movement. We promote autonomous, self-defining leadership.
The work we are doing on representation this year includes several projects:
- Working with student unions’ to support them in developing democratic structures for the representation of liberation groups
- Creating a development / coaching programme for disabled students interested in taking on a position of leadership
- Adapting and delivering some of our training programmes so they are accessible for students with learning difficulties
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Student suicide is a serious issue on university campuses across the UK. Research into the scale of the problem, however, is often difficult to measure while greater awareness and sharing of good practice is needed in order for the higher education sector to get better at tackling and preventing students from taking their lives.
That is why the Disabled Student’s Campaign hosted the Student Suicide Roundtable on 12 November 2015. Participants included NUS staff and officers, mental health specialists in HEIs and the third sector.
The roundtable looked at trends and research in student suicide, including looking at particular student groups which may be at higher risk. Participants also discussed good practice for tackling student suicide, including examples of prevention strategies and services in place within HEIs and Students’ Unions.
The roundtable was a first step in NUS’ longer term work to help prevent student suicide. We are really excited to pursue the discussions and concerns raised at the roundtable and how we can best work together to address this important issue.
Mental Health and Sucide Prevention Guide
I was so thrilled that we were able to launch the Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Guide at Disabled Student’s conference this year. The Disabled Students’ Campaign has been working on issues around mental health for a long time and this year we shifted focus onto suicide prevention, we realised lots of people were doing great things on a whole host of related issues. So we’ve gathered that information, knowledge and experience in one place.
If you’d like to order copies of the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention: An in-depth guide for Students’ Unions and students activists please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, students’ union, address and number of copies required.