St. George's Students' Union

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Issue 4 - 02/12/13

SGUL surgeon deployed to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan


Steve Mannion, a consultant surgeon and senior lecturer at St George's has been called on by the UK Government to lead the UK surgical team in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, which has resulted in up to 10,000 deaths and four million people displaced and homeless.  Steve was mobilised as part of the UK’s humanitarian response and is now based in Tacloban.

Steve came to SGUL in September this year to take over the leadership of the Centre for Trauma, Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine from Jim Ryan who now heads off into semi-retirement. Steve has taken over coordination of the Conflict and Catastrophe module in SGUL’s BSc for intercalating medical and biomedical students, which he hopes ultimately to turn into a full BSc.

He is an experienced war and disaster surgeon and when not in a crisis zone is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in paediatric congenital abnormalities and trauma. He has extensive overseas deployment experience and has worked in places as far apart as Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Malawi. He heads up the charity “Feet First” which is involved in treating Talipies and related abnormalities in much of the developing world.


  Those interested in attending, please can you contact





Calling all students!

Have your chance to win £500 cash!


NUS are conducting a short and confidential survey with students to find out more about their experiences of housing while they’re at university or college. We want to know about your experiences whether you live in rented accommodation, halls, at home with your family or elsewhere. To thank you for taking part in this survey you are in with a chance of winning a cash prize!

One lucky winner will win a fantastic £500 cash prize and 10 runners up will receive a very useful £50! The survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.


All completed surveys must be received by midnight 18 December 2013 to be entered into the prize draw.  The draw will take place on or after 6 January 2014.

Click here to complete the survey!

Thanks for your time,


Colum McGuire,


Vice President Welfare

National Union of Students



Become a Nightline Ambassador!


We are looking to select one student to act as a Nightline Ambassador for St. George's Hospital Medical School Club. Would you be interested in joining our team to help promote Nightline?


Nightline is a student-run registered charity, which offers support to university students throughout the night via a confidential listening and information service .  You can call our hotline 020 7631 0101 between 6pm-8am during term time or visit to find out more about us. You can also find us on twitter @londonnightline or on


As a Nightline Ambassador, you would be responsible for organising a minimum of two small events per term (this works out as one per month in  February , March, May and June) to increase awareness of Nightline in the student community. This could be walking around dressed up as the mascot (Neville the Bear) offering hugs, giving out flyers for a couple hours, setting up a bake sale, or something you come up with yourself. No prior experience is necessary. You will be given a small budget for event planning and we will help support you in generating ideas, planning and staffing your events, but in the end the events you plan are up to you!


All successful applicants will be receive an afternoon of Ambassador's training, run jointly by Nightline and Samaritans. We will teach you about how to approach new people at events, how to project a positive image, Nightline ethos, and what to consider when planning events.  Ambassadors  will also attend a summit once per term, where ideas will be shared and awards will be given for the best events. We ask a minimum commitment of one academic year (i.e. until the end of June this year), with potential to extend the appointment into next year.  This is a great opportunity for any student passionate about promoting mental health, not to mention the valuable CV building experiences for anyone considering a career in business, events management, PR or marketing.


Please apply by emailing your answers to the 9 questions below to with the subject line "Ambassador Application" by noon on Monday December 9th and we will notify you of your interview time on December 10th . Nightline is based near Euston Square. Interviews will be held on appointment at December 11th - 14th at University of London Union (ULU, Malet Street, WC1E 7HY) and we will contact selected Ambassadors by December 16th.  All selected ambassadors will be receive training on 2pm-6pm Saturday January 18th at ULU.


Nightline Ambassador Application Questions


1. Name:


2. Email Address:


3. Phone Number:


4. Course:


5. University:


6. Date of finishing course:


7. Why do you want to be a Nightline Ambassador? Please also detail relevant any potentially relevant experience/skills.




8. What ideas do you have for ways of promoting Nightline?




9. Which times are you available for 20 minute interview? Delete as appropriate

Wednesday, December 11th - morning (10-1pm), afternoon (2pm-5pm), evening (5pm-8pm)

Thursday, December 12th - morning (10-1pm), afternoon (2pm-5pm), evening (5pm-8pm)

Friday, December 13th - morning (10-1pm), afternoon (2pm-5pm), evening (5pm-8pm)

Saturday, December 14th - morning (10-1pm), afternoon (2pm-5pm)


University - the time of your life?

Statistics show an increase in mental health problems amongst students. What can help?

By Rosie Stewart and Julia Florentine


University is a period of transition; a time of great personal development and change, and often these changes can often affect mental health for better or worse. Independence; debts; leaving home; a new kind of learning; new friends; new opportunities; bills; essays; deadlines; new relationships; changing old relationships; internships; graduate jobs. Student life can be complicated and overwhelming at times.

It might be comforting to know that a student in distress is certainly not alone. Across the UK, 1 in 5 students report that they consider themselves to be currently dealing with a mental health problem. With increasing demand for student counselling services, some students can have difficulties accessing support from their university. The NUS survey found that 26% of students surveyed did not talk to anyone about their mental distress.

Even worse, mental health in the student community is declining. A recent article by The Gaurdian pointed out that the demand for counselling services has increased by a third in the last four years. Student suicides also increased by 50% from 2007-11, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). With mental health problems become more prevalent in the student community and mental health service wait lists getting longer, where can students turn for support?


Students can often feel overwhelmed by their problems, and not know where to turn. We often are worried about burdening those we care about, or being judged. Nightline, a registered charity, aims to support students by offering an anonymous and confidential listening and information service throughout the night. The hope is that they can be there to support students at times when it might be difficult for them to talk to anyone else.

Nightline volunteers, who are all current students, are trained to listen actively to callers in an empathetic and accepting manner. Students can talk to them about anything via phone, chat or even email. Nightline doesn’t give advice, but rather focuses on the callers’ feelings and whatever the callers want to talk about. In this way, the service helps callers talk out an issue, structure their thoughts, and clarify their feelings. They can also provide a much needed emotional outlet.

Nightline offers this fantastic peer support resource in a very easily accessible manner. Unlike university and NHS counselling services, which unfortunately can have long waitlists, Nightline has trained volunteers just at the other end of a phone line or computer (6pm-8am) any night of term.

Research produced by the Royal College of Psychiatrists notes patchy coverage of mental health issues for students, and cites Nightline as an important source of anonymous, confidential support to complement university welfare services. It is particularly important that these services are available at night, when emotions can often run high. At these times other university welfare services are typically closed and other support networks, such as friends and family, are asleep.

Although stigma around mental health is changing, many students still find it difficult to seek face-to-face help from the university when they are struggling. Students can contact Nightline without giving as much as a name, and can talk through their problems in complete anonymity and confidentiality. This can be crucial to supporting students who are worried about being judged for being in mental distress.



We all have mental health, and regardless of whether we consider it a problem, it’s important to appreciate the impact of good mental health on general well-being. Few people perform well under stress, and it’s good to know that there are services to help.

Nightline can be contacted any night of term from 6pm-8am on 0207 631 0101. You can also email or skype londonnightline. More information about Nightline is available at


Julia is the coordinator of London Nightline and Rosie is the Nightline Newsletter editor. They are not available on the hotline, but admin enquires can be directed to



Royal College of Psychiatrists (2003) The mental health of students in higher education. Council Report C112. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists


Dear SGUL,
I am a finalyearmedical student at Barts and the London and am emailing youto see if any of your students at St George's would be interested in helping to set up a new Rare Diseases
I have been involved with a Rare Diseases society at Barts that holds extra-curricular talks on Rare Diseases in the hope that they can be spotted and referred early in disease progression. As I am sure you can imagine this is quite a niche area and so we hope to improve participation by combining Rare Diseases societies in different universities to collaborate. We hope then we can share events and spread the word to more students. 
The current Rare Diseases Society at Barts and The London also holds talks in collaboration with the other academic societies within the medical school, such as the Paediatric Society, the Surgical Society and the Neurology Society, so whilst the subject of Rare Diseases itself is rather niche, there is a lot of overlap with other medical specialties, and we are interested in hearing from anyone interested in any of these areas. 
We are doing this under the umbrella group of the National Rare Diseases Committee for Medical Students, which is a newly established committee that has just secured funding in order to help set up rare diseases societies in other medical schools.
If interested please contact
Kind Regards
Emma Keohane
5th year Medical Student, 
Barts and the London SMD
Yes that's right, RAG are holding a special, one-off silent auction in order to raise money for this year's RAG total. As I'm sure some of you are aware, the charities for this year are Cancer Research UK, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), Giving to George's and Leonard Cheshire Disability. All of these charities do some amazing work by providing support to people who really need it but they can't do this without your help. That is why we are asking you to dig deep this year so we can raise as much money as possible for all of these really deserving charities.
The prizes we have on offer for you are:
2 tickets to any London Irish RFC home game for the remainder of the season
Case of 24 bottles of Bundaberg Ginger Beer
SGUL Hoodie and GB themed Piggy Bank
1-on-1 anatomy revision session with Dr.Szarko PLUS the opportunity to go into orthopaedic surgery with one of his colleagues
Bottle of Cockburns Fine Ruby Port
Wine Tasting voucher for 2 at Holmfirth Vineyard, West Yorkshire
If you would like to make a bid, please send your name, contact details, the item(s) that you are bidding for and your maximum bid for each item(s) to with bids closing on the 13th Decemeber at 5pm so don't waste any time, get bidding now!!!
Charities Team