The student-run service we all need: Talk It Out

Student Lead Services improve your university experience. Source: Talk it Out's logo (via cardiffstudents.com)

By Christine Addae-Kyereme

Time and time again you hear about what a huge transition it is to embark on the momentous journey that is University. The sheer scale of this transition is underestimated time and time again because no one is capable knowing just how big a change this will be from other people’s experiences.

It is therefore easy, especially in the early stages of University for the mind to become a breeding ground for loneliness, homesickness, stress and anxiety. Along with a combination of many unsettling emotions that you just can’t pin down. There are many problems that come with being at university.

This is exactly why Student Led Services (SLSs) exist withing the Student Union: newer groups such as Housing Action, and Mind Your Head, in addition to Nightline, SHAG (Sexual Health Awareness Group), Student Minds, and Talk It Out.

Many of these services have developed quite a name for themselves over the past few years and in most cases the name alone is enough to let you know what kind of support they offer. Whilst Talk It Out is a highly underrated service available to Cardiff’s students. Unfortunately most of the student population are unaware of both its existence and purpose.

Talk It Out acts as a listening ear for all students that find themselves attending Cardiff University. It is a space free of judgment where students can come to simply speak your mind. Talk It Out aims to make students aware of the professional services available to them at University and the Student Union. The need for the ‘Talk it Out’ listening service is drawn by feedback gathered by the Student Advice department of the Students’ Union.

By acknowledging the fact that it’s members aren’t counsellors, it is the kind of initiative that allows you to vent knowing that someone isn’t going to immediately force a solution down your throat afterwards. Whether you then take your concerns or worries onto another service is entirely up to you, in the knowledge your decisions will be supported and respected in an environment of confidentiality.

Members of Talk It Out also have the chance to undertake specialist training in order to help improve their active listening skills for the betterment of not just the service but the entire student body. Talk It Out can also help direct students towards the appropriate professional services both in the University and the Students’ Union when necessary. It has such extraordinary potential because it reminds us all to never underestimate the power of being heard no matter how small the issue.

Whether you join the service, use the services it provideds, or simply just incorporate some of its ideals into encouraging more in-depth discussions with your flatmates, friendship group, course mates or flatmates.

Don’t forget to “Talk It Out”

Please feel free to come along to any of the weekly drop-in sessions that will be held in the Student Advice Department on the third floor of the Student’s Union, held on Wednesdays from 2pm – 3pm and Fridays from 3pm – 4pm. They will start on Wednesday 12th December and Friday 14th December 3pm – 4pm and continue during and after Christmas.

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