13th October 2020

by Linette Wallace - CELT Coordinator

Student mental health and wellbeing have been of national focus for some time especially due to the growing rise in student mental ill-health in Higher Education (HE). With the recognition of this growing area of concern, positive interest in student resilience by the sector is on the rise. As a result, resilience and its associated characteristics are starting to inform several crucial HE interventions alongside the student experience; from peer learning to graduate attributes and curriculum design.

At Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU), the health, wellbeing and employability of our students are key considerations and our aim is to nurture strong, independent learners that develop into rounded individuals that can contribute positively to society. Whilst we do not dispute the need for additional counselling and specialist support where required, the BGU community have felt a more proactive, preventative approach must be a better way forward for students rather than waiting for any crisis point to be reached. Hence, we are delighted to announce that through the work of the Wellbeing Framework Steering Group and CELT, BGU students will now have access to an online Resilience Toolkit from mid-September 2020. This dovetails with a raft of other wellbeing support mechanisms we have in place for our students across campus, such as Student Advice and the Chaplaincy for example.

The toolkit advocates a positive, proactive approach to resilience by providing students with key information, activities, mindfulness techniques, resources, and links to further areas of support. It has been designed so that students can use it as frequently as they wish and access it with ease, as it sits on the Virtual Learning Environment (BlackBoard) and is linked to/from many course and generalist areas.

As is widely known, student retention, success and graduate outcomes are intrinsically linked to learners successfully overcoming any barriers that they face to achievement in HE, such as stress and anxiety. By utilising some of the tools on the toolkit, it is hoped, that students can improve upon their growth mindset which is crucial to the development and maintenance of their resilience. This, in turn, can help them optimise any conditions they face and any environment in which they are situated. Central to having this growth mindset, is the student’s ability to embrace and learn from failure and it can be argued that the concept of them acquiring grit, resilience and delayed gratification are all pivotal in them being able to set goals and develop a sense of comfort in waiting for longer-term results to be achieved.

The toolkit is being added to on an ongoing basis and houses some free e-books, embedded video content, and will promote events/talks/online courses in the subject area. If you would like further information, or would like to share any resources that you feel will enhance the toolkit, please send information into CELT@bishopg.ac.uk.