Huddersfield New College today announced that a new team of Student Well-being Champions have been recruited. The team have started their forthcoming programme of activities and events by sharing some top tips about how we can care for our mental well-being.
Following an application process, ten new Student Well-being Champions have been appointed. Students in these prestigious positions receive specialist training so that they can provide peer to peer support. The group also take responsibility for running various events linked to mental health and well-being such as Time to Talk Day, Stress Awareness Week, Mental Health Awareness Week, Men’s Health Awareness Week, Drink & Drugs Awareness amongst many others.
After Christmas the group will host monthly online drop in sessions to support their fellow students. Whilst these will respond to student feedback, topics are likely to include dealing with exam stress, or how you can benefit from meditation.
Our successful Student Well-being Champions have been named as: Pheobe Munro, Elliot Shaw, Saqira Arooj, Aleksandrs Ribalkins, Sian Bennet, Faye Gilroy, Stephanie Armitage, Amber Wrigley, Nicholas Budgen,Sophie Caine. They will also link in with Sports Ambassadors Casey Newton and Madison Rodd who lead on Mental Well-being within their role.
The group all took part in an application process for these roles, and are all passionate about the difference they can make within their role, sharing comments such as "I have seen how much anxiety the recent events have caused, for this reason I want to be able to support people who feel like they don't have anyone to talk to" and "I think it is really important to speak to others about mental health and that it’s okay to reach out to people." Some of their top tips for looking after our mental well-being can be found below.
Emma Fisher, Mental Health Champion says: “Our Student Well-being Champions are here to make a difference to the well-being of all students, hosting and running a range of student led activities which help us to ensure mental health and well-being is at the top of our agenda. As well as providing support to those who need it, as a College we work to ensure that students understand how to protect their mental health too. The team will play a key role in helping everyone understand how they can care for their mental health during these challenging times. We have a fantastic team, and I am really excited by some of their ideas such as the online drop in sessions. They are very keen to provide activities and support in response to student feedback, so please feel free to contact one of the team, or you can contact our staff Mental Health Champions who will share your feedback with them!”
Top tips from the team about how to maintain good mental health and wellbeing:
• Dedicate time just for yourself. It is crucial to give your mind a break. You can't be 100% productive without taking breaks!
• Lockdown is also an opportunity to learn something new, like a skill. It could be an instrument, art or even a language. You have to keep your mind active during these times
• If you have people around you that you trust, talk to them – lots of people often feel the same way as you are. Make sure you keep up with your College work, but speak to your teachers too if you are struggling – they are here to support you.
• Try meditation. With the ‘Headspace’ app, you can choose how long you want to meditate for, you will be guided through it and it is so relaxing on the body. The app is free, and you can set timers for when you want to relax for 10 minutes throughout the day.
• ‘Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! Fitness isn’t for everyone but it can be about focussing on your breathing techniques and taking yourself away from the stresses you experience every day.
• Have a relaxing bubble bath or shower, with candles, music or a movie.
• Spending time off of social media and your phone will release you from the social media trap. You don’t always have to reply, you don’t always have to comment on posts and most importantly, you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone.
• Look on the NHS Every Mind Matters website for other tips and a list of agencies to access support outside of College.
• Try something new. In the last lockdown I tried lots of new things such sewing clothes. Trying all these things helped me find out that I really enjoy arts and crafts, this also helped me feel less anxious about everything else that was going on.