To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 (8-14 May), Walsall College held a range of events and activities throughout the week to help staff and students aspire for and maintain good mental health.
To raise awareness the college provided staff and students with information to help them look after their own mental health and advice on how to spot the signs of mental health in family members, friends or colleagues.
The college’s Sports and Fitness Centre at The Hub also offered a free taster week for staff during the week. This gave staff unlimited access to the Gym, Group Exercise Classes and the Spa.
The college’s Students’ Union team organised a range of different activities with health benefits including reading, arts and crafts and exercise, for which students could collect stamps for every activity they tried. The college counsellor was also available throughout the week to talk to students.
In addition, a free book giveaway was organised by the college’s Learning Resources team aswell as a display in the college library of books recommended by the Reading Agency for promoting positive mental health. The books have been written to provide young people with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and difficult experiences. There was also a presentation of prizes to winners following the completion of its annual Reading Ahead competition.
Learning Spaces Manager at Walsall College, Marge Brindley, said: “There is a very healthy relationship between reading and mental well-being. Reading regularly can help to reduce stress and aids relaxation and sleep. We hold regular events and activities throughout the year to promote the benefits of reading to students and staff.”
Head of Human Resources at Walsall College, Stephanie Thompson, said: “We are committed to ensuring that Walsall College is a great place to work and study, and we are continuously seeking new ways to provide better mental health support to both staff and students. These include training staff to be specialists in Mental Health First Aid and placing health and wellbeing at the heart of our employment offer for our staff.
“Our aim is to reduce the stigma of mental health problems and create an open forum for discussion.”