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The Corporation

Posted: 12/02/18

College helps students to speak out about mental health issues

An inspiring mental health campaign was launched at West Nottinghamshire College last week, providing students with advice, encouragement and activities to help them speak out.

  • Left to right, engineering student Chloe Brown, NCCs Sarah Lee and students William Edwards and Conner Mason working on mind mapping
  • Factors which affect our lives, shown on The Human Tree
  • The Human Tree showing emotions, external influences and feelings

The ‘It’s OK To Say’ campaign, staged by the college’s student experience team, has been motivating students across all campuses to tackle mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression.

A range of activities including yoga and ‘chairobics’ were put on for students to experience gentle physical exercise, which is deemed to be useful at reducing stress and anxiety.

Guest speakers from MH:2K visited the three college campuses in Mansfield and Ashfield  to address the mental health stigmas that can be faced in today’s society. MH:2K is an innovative new programme which sees 14-25 year-olds identify the mental health pressures facing young people.

Sarah Lee, manager of the Tackling Emerging Threats to Children Team from Nottinghamshire County Council, was also on hand to give advice about mental health issues and to help students understand the detriments of not talking about them.

Groups worked together on mind mapping with Sarah and spoke openly about personal experiences of mental health and individual emotions as well as how to support one another.

Guest speaker and local resident Sam Statham, also shared her experiences of mental health to students at a lecture at the Derby Road campus on Tuesday (7 February).

Sam described her recovery after a long journey with mental health issues, and discussed a range of successes and failures of therapies as well as sharing her own self-care strategies.

Student experience team leader Robert Pearce said: “It’s vital that we provide information to staff and students about the importance of looking after their mental wellbeing.

“The main objective of the ‘It’s OK To Say’ campaign was to let people know that there’s lots of information available at college and through our external contacts, to support with mental health issues and that ‘It’s OK to Say’ when things aren’t quite right.

“Students were very engaging with the guest speakers and provided positive feedback about understanding the college support mechanisms that are available to them."