As Mental Health Officer, works at Union and University levels to represent the interests of students experiencing mental health conditions, as well as campaigning on relevant issues.

About

Shwmae! I’m Orla, I’m 22, I’m a final year Mathematics student, and I’m your new Mental Health Officer for this year! I’m delighted to now be able to represent students from all parts of the University and to raise the profile of Mental Health for all 30,000 students, as it is something I am truly passionate about. One person out of every four statistically struggles with a mental health difficulty in their lives, which equates to around 7,500 students. Thus, it is so important to raise awareness surrounding these issues, ensuring that every single Cardiff University student is aware of where and how to get the help they need when they need it.

When I’m not studying, I take part in a wide range of activities on campus, with a big focus on peer support. This year, I’m President of the Sexual Health Awareness Group (SHAG), and Treasurer for Cardiff Student Minds. I’ve also been elected to the Societies Exec as Student Led Services Rep, which I am extremely excited about, as it means that I can work alongside even more student groups to champion student peer support and raise its profile. I’ve also been a Student Mentor twice, and am now Lead Mentor Consultant for the School of Mathematics. A lot of the work I’ve done to date has given me massive insight into the difficulties that students face at different stages in their time at university, and I intend to apply this knowledge this year to tailor campaigns to what students want and need.

I grew up in the Maidenhead area primarily, attending the Marist School for most of my secondary school career and Sixth Form, but also spent a massive chunk of my childhood in Shanghai, which was an amazing experience. I came to Cardiff Uni in 2014 to do a Physics degree but moved to Maths after two years as I enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of Maths more.

I ran to be your Mental Health Officer this year as I have had my own struggles with mental health and have come through the other side. I am an extremely passionate person and will not hesitate to go the extra mile to ensure students feel supported. If you’d like to get in contact with me, please don’t hesitate!

My priorities for the year include:

  • To build on extenuating circumstances, creating a transparent policy across all schools
  • To build links with external and weekend/out-of-hours Mental Health support services, so students always know where to go for help and support
  • To build on counselling drop-ins
  • To ensure services are more accessible to Heath Park students, as well as students undertaking part-time courses
  • To build on current peer support opportunities available

What Is Working On?