Healthy campus initiative
Not waving, but drowning...
In reference to Stevie Smith’s poem (1953), we chose this title to highlight the disconnection between what we feel and what we express, as well as what we express and what other people hear; more than that, the even worse fate of waiting to speak our emotional and psychological needs until it's too late, an endemic phenomenon in our institution and Higher Education as a whole.
Is student mental health, wellbeing and emotionally literacy important to you?
Are you interested in helping the University support student mental health, wellbeing and emotional literacy in more effective, creative ways? If your answer is 'yes', then the Healthy Campus Initiative might be of interest to you, so please keep reading - the University needs your help!
What is the Healthy Campus Initiative?
The Healthy Campus Initiative is a project which aims to explore, identify and make recommendations on how we, as a university community (that is, students and staff), can address the increasing levels of student mental ill-health, wellbeing and emotional literacy challenges our university is, and many others are, currently facing. We are doing this in response to the sector-wide increase in mental ill-health prevalence and to the worryingly high numbers of students reporting wellbeing and emotional concerns. Students across the country are reporting more and more mental, emotional and general wellbeing challenges. The initiative will take the form of a working-group, or a discussion-based group, comprised of approximately 15-20 people (staff and students) who will work collectively as a team to explore these issues and to devise helpful recommendations in response.
What will volunteering involve?
We anticipate that engaging with the group will involve attending two 1.5hr meetings per term; that is, six meetings across the academic year, 2017/18. As well as your time, and perhaps more importantly, volunteering will require your commitment. We want to know what you think and for you to contribute pro-actively to the groups' reflective and and decision-making process. We want to hear your voice and your perspective. It is unlikely that volunteering will require any work between meetings but we will be encouraging staff and students alike, to reflect further on the discussions and issues raised in the meetings, and bring any observations or ideas they have to the next session.
Why is the student voice important?
We want the Healthy Campus Initiative to be as creative and inclusive as possible, and for this to happen, it needs diversity of opinion, diversity of experience, and student representation. For this reason, we are seeking representation from each School, from staff from a broad-range of backgrounds and disciplines, and from you - our student body.
What will the experience give me?
We hope that being part of the group will challenge you intellectually and emotionally. It will develop your ability to work effectively with a diverse range of people on issues of social importance, and will improve your debating, reflective and group-working skills. Being part of the group will also offer you unique insight into how organisations structure working-group activity, and will hopefully give you greater knowledge on the subjects of student wellbeing, emotional literacy and mental health.
When does the working group meet?
The working group is scheduled to meet approximately every six weeks. The first meeting took place in mid October, 2017 and the second has already been scheduled and fully booked for the 6th December, 2017! All subsequent meetings will take place, approximately, every 6-7 weeks.
Who do I contact for more information, or to volunteer?
Contact the Counselling Service manager, Yannis Andreadakis, via email. Alternatively, you could call 0207 133 4512. If no one answers, please leave a message with your name, number and student ID, and we will return your call as soon as it is possible.