Raising Mental Health Awareness at Bishop Grosseteste University

In 2018, the Office for National Statistics produced its first estimates of Higher Education student suicides, an area which typically until then was difficult to quantify.  By amalgamating different data sets (Death Registration Records and Higher Education registration data) they were able to see a better picture of this area.  Their research showed, that whilst the rate of suicide of Higher Education students in England and Wales is significantly lower than the general population, tragically university student suicide rates have gone up over the last decade.

Due to the necessity to make significant improvements in this arena, it isn’t a surprise that mental health and well-being in Higher Education have become a national focus. Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) actively demonstrates its commitment to staff and student’s wellbeing by embedding policies at an institutional level and by running a number of activities throughout the year for both staff and students.

It was decided by the Wellbeing Framework Steering Group, to run an event to raise mental health awareness with a focus on suicide prevention for BGU students.  The event organised by the Centre for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) and supported by the Students’ Union was held on the evening of Dec 5th and was supported by Papyrus UK, Lincoln Samaritans and Steps2change a free NHS service who all brought in information and resources to share with students.  The University of Lincoln also attended the event to talk with students about a digital mental health project they are running for students across Lincolnshire.

Dr Robert Boast, Executive Dean, Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement at BGU, stated:

“I’m proud that Bishop Grosseteste University nurtures a real community spirit and endeavours to create an authentic sense of belonging amongst its staff and students.  It is crucial that we run these types of activities for our students so that they feel supported with mental health issues and know where to go to seek any advice that they may need.  It was wonderful to have so many organisations give up their own time to positively contribute to this wellbeing initiative”.

CELT have since donated £100 which was split between the two charities involved in the event, Papyrus UK and Lincoln Samaritans.  Gillian Monson a volunteer from the Lincoln Samaritans commented:

“Each branch is responsible for funding its own costs of operation, so donations like yours are vital to enable us to continue to be there for the people who need us”.  

A few of the upcoming wellbeing events scheduled include:-

  • Time To Talk Day
  • Financial Well-being Workshop
  • Throughout March every Wednesday is devoted to Well-being
  • BG University Mental Health Day

For further information about any of our Well-being initiatives please contact celt@bishopg.ac.uk

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