Student-Run-Self-Help (SRSH) is a national charity that aims to support students suffering from eating disorders by providing a safe space for students to talk within student-run group sessions. We are driven by young people’s personal experiences of living with mental health issues and aim to provide a confidential, non-judgmental, welcoming environment for those who need support.

“I know I owe my recovery to having amazing people to talk to, people who really understood. Through SRSH my ambition is to ensure that all students have someone to talk to, someone who understands!” (Nicola Byrom, the founding director of SRSH)

In Bristol, we run sessions every alternate Monday in the Just Ask office on the 4th floor of the Student Union from 6.30-7.30pm. We welcome both sufferers and their friends/family. We bring together people who understand each other’s problems and although we know it can be difficult to talk, in a group setting everyone is there to help each other on the road to recovery.

Eating disorder awareness week is the 11-15th February and we feel this is a great opportunity to try and increase students understanding of what an eating disorder is, and what they may be able to do to help friends who may be suffering. This quote provided by a student recovering from an eating disorder simply re-enforces how important it is to talk.

‘ After years of treatment, medication and therapy, the one thing that actually enabled me to overcome this isolating, life-destroying illness, was talking to friends and family. When I started to let others in and shared every little step I made, it made the long road seem much shorter, easier almost, and certainly there was no turning back. There are people out there, lots of them willing to help, and the SRSH team are some of them, and if you are prepared to accept it, recovery is possible.’

We will be running a campaign called “Something Worth Talking About” in the foyer of the Students’ Health Service, Hampton House, on Monday 11th February where people will have the opportunity to learn more about the facts and fiction of eating disorders through various interactive activities.

There will also be a “How to Save a Life” workshop on 21st February at 5.30pm (Venue: MR6 Large, in the Students’ Union) for friends of sufferers. This workshop provides support and invaluable advice for the friends of sufferers. SRSH ran one last term, and with the feedback from attendees, decided it was so successful that it would be repeated.

Although the SRSH team provide a space for sufferers to talk, they are not professionals, and students are encouraged to seek care and advice from the University of Bristol’s Students’ Health Service and Student Counselling.

For more information on the national charity visit: http://www.srsh.co.uk/

Find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/UBU-eatingdisorders-SRSH/168537216577838?fref=ts

Or visit our union webpage: http://www.ubu.org.uk/justask/supportgroups/eatingdisorders/