Film sees Bristol students speak about mental health

media captionThe video features students speaking openly about having considered ending their lives

The mental health of students at universities with high suicide rates has been explored in a new film.

University of Bristol and University of West of England students were recorded talking openly about experiences of mental health and suicide.

At least 13 students in Bristol are thought to have taken their own lives since 2016.

Filmmaker Arthur Cauty said he wanted to make the short film after he lost somebody to suicide two years ago.

'Understand it's OK'

Mr Cauty, from Bristol, said he was inspired to make the film after he read about the high numbers of people taking their own lives in the city.

"Having lost someone myself it hit me quite hard. There's still such a stigma around it," he said.

"I really wanted to encourage conversation about it and get people opening up in a comfortable space."

The film, entitled Faces of Mental Health, features students talking openly and honestly about the issues.

One of them, Claire Jenner, who said she had suffered with depression and tried to kill herself when she was aged 11, said it was a subject "everyone struggles with".

"We should be able to open up without being scared," she said. "I kept it to myself.

"People should understand it's OK to feel depressed.

"Everybody is going to be depressed at some time in their life. It's up and down, you have to keep going.

"You have to trust yourself more than relying on others to make things happen."

Figures from Office for National Statistics for 2017 - the most recent available - show at least 95 university students in England or Wales took their own lives across the year.

If you are struggling to cope, contact the Samaritans on the free helpline 116 123, or please click on this link to access support services.

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