Friday 18-12-2020 - 14:49
Five years ago, we created The Mental Health Manifesto, where we identified the problems and gaps in the wellbeing of our students and promised to do better as a Union. Now it's time to look back, see how we've changed our attitude and also look forward, on how we can continue to improve and be support you, our students.
What's been done in the past 5 years?
- We stopped the University Health Centre losing funding for mental health services due to disproportionate funding cuts.
- In line with the NUS overhaul of Personal Academic Tutors (PATs), all students now have access to a personal tutor, who is informed around student mental health.
- We launched launched the postcard project to improve referrals from PATs to other services around the University.
- We launched the Respect Campaign around consent and treating others with respect on campus.
- In 2016, we created our staff action plan, which led to us signing up to be a Mindful Employer.
- Since then, we have had members of staff undergo Mental Health First Aid training.
- We worked with Happy Cafe to create our Ease Your Mind booklet, which has evolved into a significant section of our Advice Centre wellbeing guides.
- We teamed up with the University to create a Mental Health Day Fair, partnering with Ella Barron, Samaritans and Andy's Man Club.
What's coming up?
- This year, we secured a long-term partnership with Samaritans to provide free drop-ins.
- We had 30 students sign up to be Peer Listeners, which has moved online, with 15 current listeners taking sessions.
- We are relaunching Feel Good at Hud in the new year with a range of online and offline events.
Can we still do better?
Yes. We can always do better.
Lucy, our Activities Officer (who started the Feel Good campaign) says, "Despite all of our efforts to support students’ mental health and well-being, there is still a need for much more focus on this. It is completely underfunded and not prioritised even with a mental health crisis and a global pandemic".
It's painfully clear that now, we need to band together and do more to better our environment, which starts with our minds. We need your help to do this. Together, we can do more.