Higher Education for a Healthy Nation: Student well-being and health

 
Higher Education for a Healthy Nation: Student well-being and health
Higher Education
for a Healthy Nation:
Student well-being
and health
Higher Education for a Healthy Nation: Student well-being and health
“The benefits of Open           “When I finally did tell one     “I was really in a bad way
University education in         of my tutors that I was a        prior to having regular
prison were immediate.          carer, I was amazed at how       meetings with the mentor,
The lessons helped me           much support was given. He       and seriously thinking about
have a new positive focus       explained that I could always    walking away from the
on rebuilding my life. The      contact him if I needed          course. My mentor helped
challenging modules helped      extensions and extra support.”   in numerous ways and was
rebuild my self-confidence.”                                     supportive practically -
                                Page 50                          arranging meetings with
Page 11                                                          advice shop and drop in
                                                                 centre, using library facilities,
                                                                 and emotionally – giving
                                                                 perspective, prioritising,
                                                                 managing stress levels.”

                                “The benefits of exercising      Page 43
                                are improved well-being,
                                a healthier lifestyle, more
“It’s so important to talk      positive attitude, and
about mental health and         improved sleep and fitness. I
for it to be part of everyday   have started to get to know
conversation because with       other people and it’s great
one in four people struggling   to feel part of a community,     “Sharing my story was so
with a mental health            and I just feel generally more   rewarding and I have already
problem, it’s more common       positive. Going to the Sports    received feedback from
than you think.”                Centre has helped me to          friends who related to my
                                not only lose weight, it has     experience and were grateful
Page 13                         improved my mental health        that somebody had finally
                                and well-being, especially       spoken out”.
                                around anxiety and stress in
                                advance of exams.”               Page 7

                                Page 27

“All my lecturers and student                                    “If I hadn’t done this work
services were very keen for                                      experience then I’d be lost.
me to take a break rather                                        I’d finish university with a
than give up. When you’re                                        degree and not know where
in that head space you                                           to go. Doing the GO Wales
feel like giving up, but they   “Coming here is giving me        programme has helped me to
persuaded me to take a year     confidence for the future.       step into the next journey of
off and come back.”             Whatever tools I get from        my life.”
                                here I know I can carry them
Page 22                         on outside.”                     Page 62

                                Page 16
Higher Education for a Healthy Nation: Student well-being and health
Health and well-being in HE Page 3

Contents
Contents                                      3    Mindfulness programme                                33
Introduction                                  4    Bystander Project                                    34
Mental and emotional health and well-being 5       ‘No Grey Area’ Campaign                              35
The big white wall                            6    Student well-being drop-in sessions                  36
Building an inclusive community               7    Addressing violence and abuse                        37
Stefan’s socks                                9    Working together                                     39
Improving student mental health               10   Raising Awareness of Diabetes                        40
My story: Leah Barfield                       12   Arts and health                                      41
Promoting health and well-being               14   Well-being services with local charities             42
Reducing risk and building resilience         15   Improving the Health of Local Communities            44
My story: a student with autism               16   Improving social prescribing in north Wales          45
Improving to access to counselling in Welsh   17   Additional support                                   47
Mindfulness for International Students        18   Skills for Life                                      48
Building emotional resilience                 19   Inclusive environment                                49
Supporting LGBT+ students                     20   Supporting students who are carers                   50
Supporting students to succeed                21   Boosting resources for blind students                51
My Story: Ella Wilkinson                      22   Well-being and health by design                      52
Physical activity, health and well-being      23   Substance use and misuse                             53
Fight to end Period Poverty                   24   Supporting a safer attitude to alcohol               54
Couch to 5k                                   25   Sustainability and healthy environments              55
Resilience through physical activity          26   Award-winning healthy environments                   56
Championing physical activity                 28   Single use coffee cup pilot scheme                   57
Promoting well-being with coaching            29   Building resilience through work placements 59
Safe environment, personal health,                 Rachel’s story                                       60
and relationships                             31   Daisy Dewell                                         61
Safe and inclusive learning environments      32   Successful futures                                   62
Higher Education for a Healthy Nation: Student well-being and health
Page 4 Health and well-being in HE

                                          Introduction
                                          Universities and colleges that invest in the well-being and health
                                          of their students are investing in their entire communities, and
                                          strengthening the resilience of future generations. The international
                                          Okanagan charter for health-promoting universities and colleges
                                          recognised that an institution that brings these principles into the core
                                          of its operational and academic affairs is a successful one. Furthermore,
                                          bringing health and well-being into the mainstream heightens
                                          compassion; improves equity and social justice on campus; improves the
                                          health of those who learn and work in our institutions; and strengthens
                                          the sustainability of our communities and wider society.

Universities and colleges play a          to access, including support for        aims. Along with representative
unique role in the daily lives of         mental health. These case studies       bodies such as Universities Wales,
students, and they want to be well-       show some of the ways in which          NUS Wales, and Colleges Wales,
equipped to support their large and       institutions are currently working      and other public bodies, we will
diverse student populations. From         with students and partners to create    play a crucial role in shaping the
supporting their academic progress        inclusive learning environments, to     support networks made available for
early on, to providing a range of         help ensure a healthy and resilient     students in the future.
services and advice when they face        student body.
challenges, interventions can make a                                              Gwyneth Sweatman, 2018-19
real difference to student lives.         “For most students, university is       President of the NUS in Wales,
                                          a joyous experience where new           outlined her vision for well-being
We have been making progress              friendships are forged, careers         and health in higher education:
in this area for a while. Working         paths are chosen and lessons are
with others, we strive to adopt a         learned, both inside and outside        “Wales is the perfect size for
preventive approach through our           the lecture theatre. But it is also a   universities, students, and the
policies, and we are acutely aware of     time of transition which can bring      mental health sector to work
our need to contribute to a society       its own challenges, such as living      together to make sure that every
that boosts people’s physical and         away from home for the first time,      student in Wales, no matter where
mental well-being. This enables us        managing finances or coping with        or how they study, is able to access
to progress the goals set out in the      exam pressures.” Kirsty Williams AM,    the services and support they need
Well-being of Future Generations          Education Minister, March 2019          to stay in education.”
(Wales) Act, particularly around a
healthy Wales and an equal Wales.         Earlier this year, the Welsh            This publication shines a light
                                          Government announced that it            on how universities and colleges
The Violence Against Women,               would provide £2 million of new         foster healthy and thriving higher
Domestic Abuse and Sexual Abuse           funding to support students’ health     education environments. We know
Act aims to support all people in         and well-being, including mental        there is more we can all do: we must
Wales who have been subject to            health, at our universities. I look     challenge structures and processes
violence and abuse, which impacts         forward to seeing what this extra       that create barriers; and continually
on well-being and mental health.          funding boost brings and its impact     improve and respond. But we will
                                          on the lives of students.               also continue to work with our
Finally, the Equality Act protects                                                partners to champion successes
individuals from unfair treatment         We want to go beyond merely             and to promote higher education’s
and promotes a fair and more equal        complying with legislation. HEFCW is    contribution to well-being
society, and defines some mental          committed to sustaining well-being      and health.
illnesses as protected characteristics.   and health in higher education,
                                          and we will continue to work with       David Allen OBE, Chair, HEFCW,
Universities and colleges tend to         our student partners, and with          June 2019
have a portfolio of well-being and        universities, colleges and Welsh
health services available for students    Government to help realise our
Higher Education for a Healthy Nation: Student well-being and health
Mental and emotional health and well-being Page 5

Mental
and
emotional
health and
well-being
Higher Education for a Healthy Nation: Student well-being and health
Page 6 Mental and emotional health and well-being

Using the Big White
Wall to support
                                                                                      “We are delighted that the
                                                                                      University supported the
                                                                                      Students’ Union’s proposal
well-being and health                                                                 and that this service is
                                                                                      available to all of our
                                                                                      students. We know from
                                                                                      talking to our students that
The University of Wales Trinity Saint David, in partnership with                      mental health is extremely
its Students’ Union (TSDSU), subscribes to the Big White Wall                         important to them. The
initiative, which provides round-the-clock access to on-line mental                   availability of 24-hour online
health support, and enhances existing campus-based counselling                        tools will be a significant
and mental health support for students.                                               step forward in promoting
                                                                                      and enabling better student
The initiative was launched                    support; group courses and             mental health.”
following feedback from students               discussion on issues like negative
who needed more support,                       thinking and stress; and courses       Josh Whale, Lampeter
were struggling to sleep, feeling              and programmes to help students        President, TSDSU
stressed or having difficulty                  improve their well-being and
coping. Big White Wall enables                 health. This safe online space helps
them to get support, take control              students to get things off their
and feel better.                               chest, explore their feelings and
                                               learn how to manage their mental
The service provides 24/7 online               health and well-being. 93% of
peer and professional support,                 members felt better as a result of
with trained counsellors. Students             using the service.
can access anonymous online

More:
Dai Rogers, Director of Student Services • d.rogers@uwtsd.ac.uk
Rhys Dart, Chief Executive, TSDSU • r.dart@uwtsd.ac.uk
bigwhitewall.com
Higher Education for a Healthy Nation: Student well-being and health
Mental and emotional health and well-being Page 7

Building
an inclusive
                                                                                 “My advice is to remember
                                                                                 you are not alone. Please
                                                                                 reach out and talk to

community                                                                        someone. The minute you
                                                                                 start to open up, the better
                                                                                 it gets”.

                                                                                 Emily, Student
Cardiff University is working in partnership with Time to Change
Wales and with three mental health charities: Gofal, Hafal and Mind
Cymru – on a multi-media campaign to end mental health stigma
and discrimination in Wales.

                                      “Following my involvement                  “Sharing my story was so
                                      in the University’s                        rewarding and I have already
                                      #LetsShare Campaign, I’ve                  received feedback from
                                      spoken to over 10 friends                  friends who related to my
                                      who wanted advice and                      experience and were grateful
                                      now feel comfortable                       that somebody had finally
Cardiff University’s Time to          enough to discuss mental                   spoken out”.
Change Pledge is a public             health openly”.
declaration that an organisation                                                 Sophie, Student
wishes to tackle mental health        Callie, Student
stigma, fear and discrimination,
and commits to actions that will
lead to change and the reduction
of discrimination.

As part of a whole-University
approach to mental health,            “Sharing who you are and
Cardiff University’s Mental           how you feel is always okay,
Health Campaign for students          and can make things a whole
and staff called What’s on your       lot better”.
mind? #LetsShare focuses on
encouraging everyone to open up       Nicola, Well-being
about mental health.                  Champion
Higher Education for a Healthy Nation: Student well-being and health
Page 8 Mental and emotional health and well-being

  Photo:
  Stefan’s Socks
Higher Education for a Healthy Nation: Student well-being and health
Mental and emotional health and well-being Page 9

Stefan’s Socks:                                                                   “Stefan was a much loved
Tackling the stigma                                                               student by many in our clubs
                                                                                  and societies, and Stefan’s
around mental health                                                              Socks is a brilliant way for
                                                                                  our students to open up
                                                                                  about their issues and to
                                                                                  start changing the stigma
Stefan Osgood was a popular student at Aberystwyth University and                 surrounding mental health.
a keen member of the Students’ Union Fencing Society. But he was                  Not only does our campaign
suffering silently from depression and in March 2016, he took his                 do this, it is also raising
own life.                                                                         money for local charities
                                                                                  tied to mental health and
Aberystwyth University’s Students’    they stay happy and healthy during          supporting our community.
Union launched the Stefan’s Socks     their time at university.                   Stefan’s Socks have been
campaign in memory of third-year                                                  much more than a symbol
undergraduate Stefan Osgood.          A Washing Line of Well-being was            for many, but a way to stand
It aims raise awareness and           created with students asked to              up for people who struggle
promote better mental health          write an anonymous comment on               to use their own voices to
among students.                       mental health on a pink sock and            break down those barriers so
                                      peg it to the line. Sports teams            people can feel like they have
Stefan always wore a pair of          and societies were encouraged to            someone to turn to.”
knee-high, bright pink socks during   buy a pair of pink socks from the
sporting matches. His trademark       union in memory of Stefan, which            Molly Longfield,
hosiery led in October 2017 to the    raised more than £10,000 for                Well-being Officer at
launch of Aberystwyth Students’       Mind Aberystwyth.                           Aberystwyth University’s
Union Stefan’s Socks campaign,                                                    Students’ Union
aimed at ending the stigma around     The Stefan’s Socks campaign and
mental health and encouraging         bright pink socks have become a
students to explore different ways    common sight on playing fields, in
to look after themselves and ensure   the Sports Centre and on campus.

                                                                                                                More:
                                                                     Bruce Wight – 01970 621 735 • prdstaff@aber.ac.uk
                                                                   Esther Prytherch – 01970 622 365 • ejp14@aber.ac.uk
Higher Education for a Healthy Nation: Student well-being and health
Page 10 Mental and emotional health and well-being

Improving student
mental health and
well-being in secure
environments
The Open University (OU) gives students in secure environments the
chance to achieve a higher education qualification through tailored
adjustment and support which is sensitive to their circumstances
and environments. This gives them a sense of hope for the future,
and in turn improves their mental health and well-being.

For a number of students, it is              •       A designated ‘students in            •   Flexibility and understanding
their first experience of education                  secure environments’ team                by the OU when students
in a supportive environment                          in Wales, who liaise with                are unable to meet
where their academic ability                         support agencies working                 module registration or
is encouraged, and their self-                       with students.                           assignment deadlines.
esteem is developed. It provides             •       Course materials versioned           •   One-to-one discussions about
a positive focus while serving a                     for use in prison, with ‘off line’       study requirements or support
prison sentence, and emphasises                      packs and alternative formats            for students who have
the education and employment                         for courses that normally                disclosed mental
opportunities that could be                          require online engagement.               health conditions.
available to them on their release.          •       Using the Virtual Campus,            •   Supporting students through
In 2017/18, 89 students were                         a secure intranet system                 a period of ‘unexpected’
studying with the OU in secure                       for specific modules where               transition (such as transferring
environments in Wales. 13 per                        students can access a                    prison or being released) to
cent of them declared a disability.                  range of information,                    continue with studying, as
The OU works closely with prison                     communication facilities                 studying provides a consistent
education officers in Wales to                       and other resources that are             focus when they are unable to
support students, and to enable                      otherwise available online.              control other aspects of
HE qualifications to be accessible.          •       One-to-one tutorials with a              their lives.
This is done through:                                specialist tutor, empathetic to
                                                     the student’s circumstances          The OU continues to support
                                                     and environment.                     students in secure environments
                                                                                          and is planning to develop further
                                                                                          the ‘through the gate’ support for
                                                                                          students on release when they are
More:                                                                                     exceptionally vulnerable.
Michelle Matheron, • Michelle.Matheron@open.ac.uk
www.open.ac.uk/wales
Mental and emotional health and well-being Page 11

“I tutor students in prison
because I feel privileged to
have worked closely with
so many hard working and
talented students, seeing
them blossom. I have enjoyed
the relationships that have
developed. When they leave,
they take with them new
skills and a pride in what has
been achieved. The OU has
made a difference.”

David Hatherley,
Maths Tutor

“The benefits of Open
University education in
prison were immediate.
The lessons helped me
have a new positive focus
on rebuilding my life. The
challenging modules helped
rebuild my self-confidence.”

Student

“I was made to look at my
life differently.”

Student
Page 12 Mental and emotional health and well-being

My story:
Leah Barfield,
University of
South Wales
Leah Barfield is from
Cambridgeshire and is a second
year Documentary Photography
student at the University of
South Wales.

                                             “When I originally moved to            ensuring that my mental health
                                             university, I lived far away from      doesn’t affect my quality of work
                                             home and it made it difficult to       and focus on my studies.
                                             adjust to my new environment. My
                                             support network was small and I        “USW also provides counselling
                                             found it difficult to connect with     services which many people I
                                             peers and others around me.”           know have accessed and have
                                                                                    had great experiences with them,
                                             Having suffered with clinical          whether it be about their studies
                                             depression and generalised             or personal aspects of their
                                             anxiety disorder for many years,       well-being.”
                                             Leah is now working to raise the
                                             profile of mental illness within the   A former Young Champion for
                                             student community.                     the Time to Change campaign,
                                                                                    which works to change the
                                             “Within the University, I was lucky    way people act and think about
                                             enough to receive some mental          mental health problems, Leah now
                                             health mentoring. This support         uses her talent for photography
                                             network allows me to have help         to document important
                                             when it comes to my studies,           conversations and stories which
Mental and emotional health and well-being Page 13

                                                                                     “It’s so important to talk
                                                                                     about mental health and
                                                                                     for it to be part of everyday
                                                                                     conversation because with
                                                                                     one in four people struggling
                                                                                     with a mental health
                                                                                     problem, it’s more common
                                                                                     than you think.”

                                                                                     Leah Barfield, University
                                                                                     of South Wales

some people who suffer with a          “Most people I meet find me                they pick up on when I’m not
mental health problem may find         outgoing and bubbly, but this is           feeling great and will help me out
difficult to share.                    just one way I choose to hide how          or arrange to do something to
                                       I really feel inside.                      distract me.
“#INSIDEMYMIND is a
collaborative project which I          “My triggers tend to come                  “It’s so important to talk about
created with Time to Change to         from social situations or when             mental health and for it to be part
help the current Young Champions       I don’t know anyone - I tend               of everyday conversation because
express themselves. Mental health      to stutter and talk randomly. I            with one in four people struggling
issues do not discriminate. This       worry that people are judging              with a mental health problem, it’s
project works with individuals         me, or don’t want me there and I           more common than you think.
of different backgrounds, ages         find it hard not to spiral off into
and ethnicities.”                      darker thoughts.                           “Reaching out to the right group
                                                                                  of friends or family will help
The project is an important tool       “Since being at university, I have         because they’ll be able to notice
for the fight against discrimination   forced myself into social situations       those indicators and help you
and stigma that people face as         to try and distract myself from            through those darker times.”
they share first hand experiences      sitting alone and circling my
and the importance of                  own mind. I’ve also confided in
speaking out.                          people who are close to me. Now
Page 14 Mental and emotional health and well-being

                                                                                  “Being a Well-being
                                                                                  Champion is extremely
                                                                                  rewarding and enables you

Promoting health and                                                              to help fellow students, all
                                                                                  while improving important

well-being using support                                                          skills that are attractive to
                                                                                  future employers, such as

from peers
                                                                                  communication, listening,
                                                                                  and teamwork. I would
                                                                                  highly recommend becoming
                                                                                  a Champion”.
Cardiff University’s Student Support and Well-being department
provides a Peer Support Programme. ‘Well-being Champions’ are                     Jasmine,
volunteers who support fellow students to enhance their student                   Well-being Champion
life and sense of connectedness at University, while gaining valuable
skills and experiences themselves.

Well-being Champions offer                   in the wider group with Well-being
advice ‘on the move’, with a                 Champions and other students.
regular presence at libraries, halls,        Postgraduate Peer Supporters
cafés, specific school buildings             volunteer to help fellow students
and other University Hotspots.               at regular group meetings            “Having used the (Student
At a Hotspot, students can get to            throughout the year.                 Support) services at the
know the Champions, learn tips               Well-being staff supervise           University myself, this is
for improving their well-being,              trained Well-being Champions,        my way of giving back and
take away self-help resources and            Postgraduate Peer Supporters and     helping others. You don’t
receive signposting information.             LGBT+ Champions during their         need to feel alone because
                                             time in the role. The University     we are here to help.”
Well-being Champions offer                   hopes to develop the Peer
regular ‘Tea & Talk’ sessions, where         Support Programmes to provide        Sum,
students can come along and                  specialist training for LGBT+        Well-being Champion
chat through any difficulties in a           Champions and to introduce           and Postgraduate Peer
relaxed, informal, environment.              additional peer support such as      Supporter
Students can chat one-to-one or              Disability Champions.
Mental and emotional health and well-being Page 15

Reducing risk, building
resilience: supporting
                                                                                  “As the course was delivered
                                                                                  in a university setting,
                                                                                  and involved university
suicidal students                                                                 counselling service staff as
                                                                                  well as clinical psychology
                                                                                  staff, our initiative removed
A ground-breaking collaboration between Bangor University’s                       many of the barriers and
Counselling Service and the North Wales Clinical Psychology                       stigma associated in
Doctorate Programme was shortlisted for a Times Higher Education                  accessing specialist help.
‘Outstanding Support for Students’ Award in 2018.                                 Students often fall between
                                                                                  what their university
                                                                                  provides, and what is
Students are provided with a         risk of self-harm and suicidality,           available in their home
bespoke course in Emotional          alongside improvements in                    settings. We have found
Regulation Skills from Dialectical   emotional regulation skills. Of              a way to bring specialised
Behaviour Therapy experts, which     those that completed the course,             support directly to these
teaches them a number of skills      there was an 88% demonstrated                students. This intervention
to help them understand their        clinical and reliable improvement            has not only been able to
emotions, alongside strategies       rate, with notable decreases in              significantly reduce risk
to manage the emotions in            levels of academic distress.                 amongst this group of
difficult situations. The courses                                                 students, but has also helped
are led by Dr. Michaela Swales,                                                   to equip them with skills that
an international expert in                                                        will support them beyond
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy                                                     their life as a student.”
(DBT), a NICE-recommended
treatment for suicidal and                                                        Kate Tindle,
self-harming behaviours.                                                          Head of Bangor
                                                                                  University’s Counselling
Comparing measures of emotional                                                   Service
well-being at the start and at
the end of the course has shown
significant reductions in the

                                                                                                                    More:
                                                            Kate Tindle, Head of the Counselling Service, Bangor University
                                                                                                  • k.tindle@bangor.ac.uk
Page 16 Mental and emotional health and well-being

My story:
A student with autism                                                                  “Coming here is giving me
                                                                                       confidence for the future.

and complex mental                                                                     Whatever tools I get from
                                                                                       here I know I can carry them

health issues at Cardiff                                                               on outside.”

Metropolitan University
A student with autism and complex mental health issues moved
to Cardiff Metropolitan University having previously struggled to
develop the social and communication skills needed for a vocational,
people-focused degree.                                                                 “The support has been really
                                                                                       helpful. Every time I seek
                                                                                       support, I come in trembling
Cardiff Met helped the student to             and did not feel safe in their home.     and I leave with my head
understand their condition and                The University worked with the           held high at the end of a
to approach the aspects of study              student and Women’s Aid, with a          session, knowing that there
they found most challenging. The              contribution from the university         is a solution to my worries
University worked closely with                hardship fund and mentoring              and all is not lost.”
their course and placement to                 support, to enable the student to
manage expectations and ensure                plan for and leave their domestic
that they were being given the                situation safely. Local charities,
necessary time and support to                 their advisor and their mentor
develop their skills. This helped             gave them additional support to
them to be more confident, taking             develop the skills necessary for
risks and challenging themselves              independent living, something
in an environment in which they               they had never done before.
felt safe.
                                              Now a graduate, they feel positive
As the student developed                      about their future and are
confidence, their understanding               continuing to develop the skills
of their situation changed. They              necessary for both independent
recognised that they had been                 living and working. They feel for
vulnerable as a result of their               the first time in charge of their life
condition, disclosing that that they          and where they are going.
did not consent to their marriage

More:
Neil Davies – Head of Student Well-being • ddavies@cardiffmet.ac.uk
www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/studentservices
Mental and emotional health and well-being Page 17

Improving to access
to counselling mental
                                                                                   “The steps taken by the
                                                                                   counselling service at Bangor
                                                                                   University over the last
health support in Welsh                                                            year not only ensures that
                                                                                   counselling support is offered
                                                                                   in Welsh but also enables a
For many, mental health and well-being support through the                         better understanding of the
medium of Welsh is a key part of a service that meets their needs.                 needs of Welsh-speaking
                                                                                   service users. Together
Bangor University is committed to        counselling in Welsh, and                 with our Students’ Union,
ensuring access to mental health         has met with other local                  the counselling service has
provision for Welsh-speaking             external bodies to promote                played an important role in
students. The Counselling Service,       the importance of the                     bringing the need to develop
in conjunction with the Students’        ‘Mae gen i hawl’ campaign,                mental health services
Union (Undeb) and the University’s       and Welsh-language                        and resources through the
Welsh Language Task Group,               counselling provision.                    medium of Welsh to the
has been involved in a number                                                      forefront of the national
of initiatives:                      •   A Welsh-speaking student was              debate about this topic.”
                                         appointed to an internship
•   The Counselling Service              to support the work of                    Dr Lowri Hughes,
    has seen the number of               the University’s Student                  Head of Policy and
    students requesting (and             Mental Health Strategy                    Development at Canolfan
    having) counselling in Welsh         Group, to enhance Welsh                   Bedwyr – Bangor
    double. The University’s             language provision for                    University’s Centre
    Welsh-speaking counsellor            student mental health and                 for Welsh Language
    is now looking at clients’           explore viable external Welsh             Services, Research
    experiences of having                language resources.                       and Technology

                                                                                                                    More:
                                                           Kate Tindle, Head of the Counselling Service, Bangor University
                                                                                                 • k.tindle@bangor.ac.uk
Page 18 Mental and emotional health and well-being

Mindfulness for
International Students
                                                                                               “The course was a great
                                                                                               platform for international
                                                                                               students to learn about
                                                                                               techniques and tools to
                                                                                               manage stressful situations.
The Counselling Service at Bangor University received a grant from                             The fact that it was targeted
UKCISA to pilot a Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction (MBSR)                                    towards international
course, tailored specifically for international students.                                      students made it more
                                                                                               engaging for them, but also
The Service has been providing a             International students are most
                                                                                               gave them extra confidence
variety of psychological services,           likely to make use of counselling
                                                                                               to discuss their thoughts and
including mindfulness courses,               resources through group
                                                                                               feelings in their non-native
for all students for many years,             programmes. One of the course’s
                                                                                               language, knowing everyone
but there was less uptake from               groups was run in the environment
                                                                                               was in the same boat. It was
international students. The                  of the University’s Faith
                                                                                               a safe space for all and the
new eight-week course offered                Centre, familiarising additional
                                                                                               internationalisation of the
psychological support to a                   international students with this
                                                                                               course definitely helped in
group of international students,             venue as a useful resource at
                                                                                               that sense.”
frequently under-represented in              their disposal.
one-to-one counselling.
                                                                                               Marcel Clusa,
                                             Participants learnt skills that
                                                                                               International Student
The project also aims to:                    enhanced their personal
                                                                                               Support Officer
• research the effectiveness of              development and capacity to
    this intervention;                       manage stress and difficulty.
                                             Friendships and cross-cultural
•   enhance cross –cultural                  relationships developed within
    relationships between                    supportive communities where                    The University’s Counselling
    different International student          participants felt safe, free to                 Service will continue to promote
    groups; and                              be themselves and able to                       its mindfulness programmes to
                                             understand and support each                     international students, and will
•   investigate the                          other. Nearly 70% of participants               work to maintain the positive
    appropriateness and                      showed improvement in levels of                 contact made with International
    effectiveness of providing               functioning and well-being.                     Student Support Office staff.
    such group work in a
    HE institution.
                                             More:
                                             Kate Tindle, Head of the Counselling Service,
                                             Bangor University
                                             • k.tindle@bangor.ac.uk
Mental and emotional health and well-being Page 19

Building emotional
resilience
                                                                                  “This training is important
                                                                                  because it allows us to give
Aberystwyth University Students’ Union won a National Lottery
                                                                                  our students and staff ways
Community Fund grant to provide Resilience Skills and Suicide
                                                                                  in which to help each other
Prevention training to staff and to 2,000 students over three years.
                                                                                  cope and the skills to deal
A series of three-hour interactive    and Society officers were among             with the situations that come
workshops are being held on           the first cohort to receive the             with being a student.
campus, designed and delivered        training, followed by a series of
by an external, specialist training   Train the Trainer courses to enable         “We’ll be working closely
organisation. The workshops           staff to deliver regular sessions           with the University’s Student
explore how emotional resilience      to students.                                Support and Careers Services
can be an effective defence                                                       to ensure students who
against depression and teach          The training is in addition to the          are in need continue to
participants how to take practical    regular workshops and sessions              have access to appropriate
actions to reduce the risk            offered by the University’s Student         well-being support where
of suicide.                           Support Service to support                  needed, while ensuring
                                      students’ mental health and                 the training complements
Students’ Union staff, student        well-being.                                 existing provision. I’m
academic representatives and Club                                                 looking forward to rolling
                                                                                  this out to our students and
                                                                                  staff, particularly our Clubs
                                                                                  and Societies who have been
                                                                                  asking for additional training
                                                                                  in these areas.”

                                                                                  Molly-Jean Longden,
                                                                                  Aberystwyth Students’
                                                                                  Union Well-being Officer

                                                                                                             More:
                                                                                                       Martin Dodd
                                                                                • mmd11@aber.ac.uk www.abersu.co.uk
Page 20 Mental and emotional health and well-being

Supporting LGBT+
students’ mental and
emotional well-being
Cardiff University’s Student Support and Well-being team has been
working to improve access to support for LGBT+ students. The team
created a set of activities with the Students’ Union, LGBT+ Society,                “Our work with our LGBT+
a Student Focus Group, and in response to evidence published by                     student community to
Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity.                              improve access to support
                                                                                    for them is something we
A number of new options now                          exclusively for students and   feel is really important. We
support LGBT+ University                             staff members who identify     know from the evidence
students, including:                                 with the term trans.           base of national research
                                             •       The option for first year      that there is a greater
•   LGBT+ Champions: fellow                          students to elect to live in   vulnerability around LGBT+
    LGBT+ students trained by                        ‘LGBT+ students & Allies’      people’s mental health.
    University student support                       accommodation.                 We wanted to work in
    professionals in the essentials          •       Specialist support and         partnership to improve the
    of peer support and LGBT+-                       information to those           support we offer.”
    awareness training, and                          who have experienced
    offer well-being-related and                     domestic abuse.                Ben Lewis,
    practical peer support.                  •       One-to-one support from the    Lewis Director Student
•   Workshops, including café-                       University’s LGBT+ Chaplain    Support and Well-being
    style, peer-led workshops                        for students wishing to
    and workshops based around                       explore spirituality.
    Coming Out at University.
•   A Trans Support Pathway                  Additional, specialist training is
    for students transitioning               provided for Student Support and
    at University. Students can              Well-being staff to enable LGBT+
    make contact anonymously if              students to feel as supported as
    they do not wish to identify             possible when accessing support
    themselves but would like to             services. Further work with
    share information about being            organisations such as Stonewall
    trans at Cardiff University.             Cymru and Student Minds and
•   Making a safe space available,           creating an inclusive virtual
    regularly at the University and          environment are to come.
Mental and emotional health and well-being Page 21

Supporting students
to succeed                                                                       “Following years and years
The OU in Wales works closely with students to discuss disabilities              of being told that I was
and the help they might need to study. This includes identifying                 the class clown and being
support needs as early as possible; suggesting coping strategies and             dismissed and thrown by the
sources of support; recognising students’ concerns related to study;             wayside of the education
and signposting support options.                                                 system – the OU began to
                                                                                 assist me in finally starting
At some point during their                mentoring and study                    my higher education journey
studies, many students with               skills support.                        at the age of 38. I was
mental health conditions will         •   Encouraging students to                given a disabled students’
experience anxiety about                  use peer support, such                 allowance, a computer that
submitting their assignments or           as Nightline, operated                 could read to me, and the
taking examinations. Students in          by volunteers from OU                  correct software to help with
distance-learning environment             Students Association.                  my condition. This was the
might also feel isolated and need     •   Encouraging students to use            first time in my entire life
a regular point of contact. The           OU well-being resources such           that anyone had ever helped
OU’s Student Support Teams work           as the booklet ‘Studying and           me in the education system
with tutors and Disabled Students’        Staying Mentally Healthy’,             and the OU continued to help
Services to identify students who         relaxation techniques and              me throughout the duration
need support and establish the            mindfulness videos.                    of my degree.”
most effective ways to provide this   •   Working with students’ Mental
support at a distance.                    Health Support Teams and an            John Spence,
                                          OU Mental Health Adviser.              OU Graduate and Wales
This might include:                   •   Promoting equality and                 Adult Learner of the
• In-depth conversations                  diversity values to help               Year 2018
     with educational advisers            students talk about their
     to make students aware               difficulties and combat any
     of available arrangements            perceptions of stigma.
     such as requesting
     extensions, reporting            One student experienced extreme
     special circumstances or         anxiety around assignment
     deferring study.                 submission for over two years.
• Arranging additional support        Working with their tutors, Student
     sessions with tutors to focus    Support and the Mental Health
     on a specific assignment or      Team to develop an action plan
     study topic, or revision and     for managing their anxiety and
     exam preparation.                seeking help, they constructed
• Encouraging students to             coping strategies and achieved
     apply for a Disabled Students    distinctions in their modules.
     Allowance to access specialist
Page 22 Mental and emotional health and well-being

My story:
Ella Wilkinson, University of                                                                 “All my lecturers and student
                                                                                              services were very keen for

Wales Trinity Saint David                                                                     me to take a break rather
                                                                                              than give up. When you’re
                                                                                              in that head space you
                                                                                              feel like giving up, but they
When Ella Wilkinson started her final year at university, the anxiety                         persuaded me to take a year
and depression that surfaced during her first year returned with a                            off and come back.”
vengeance. This time it was so bad she left her course for a year.
                                                                                              Ella Wilkinson,
“The first thing I noticed was a              “I managed with medication and
                                                                                              University of Wales Trinity
change in my sleeping patterns. I             weekly appointments near to
                                                                                              Saint David
was sleeping very erratically and             where I lived from the university
then my attendance at lectures                counselling service, but when I
dropped. That made me more                    came back in the third year things
anxious and it spiralled.”                    began to slip. I played down
                                              how bad I was feeling but I think
When Ella first reported feeling              my parents had an idea and my
anxious and depressed in her first            dad came down from home in
year she was seen by UWTSD                    Leicester to check on me.”
counselling services within
a month. She says that and                    Ella believes young people are
medication from her GP helped                 under pressure to “have the best
her cope.                                     time of their lives” at university,
                                              when the reality is that it can be
But when symptoms returned a                  lonely. She’s taken the step to
few weeks into her third year, she            describe her experience hoping
told lecturers she wanted to leave.           it will help break the stigma of
They persuaded her to take a year             mental health and ensure other
out rather than quit outright and             young people get the rapid
supported her to do that, she says.           support she says her university
                                              gave her.

Extract from:
‘I didn’t realise how ill anxiety was making me’
by Abbie Wightwick Education Editor at WalesOnline/Media Wales. Reproduced with permission.
Physical activity, health and well-being Page 23

Physical
activity,
health and
well-being
Page 24 Physical activity, health and well-being

A Students’ Union fights
to end Period Poverty
                                                                                         “I am so proud of our
                                                                                         students for getting behind
                                                                                         this innovative campaign.
                                                                                         No woman should have
One in ten girls in the UK has been unable to afford sanitary wear.                      to worry about missing a
The University of South Wales’                     tackling this form of gender          lecture or class because
Students’ Union (USWSU) has                        inequality; they were tired of        she cannot afford basic
introduced a Period Exchange to                    the tampon tax; and it was            sanitary products.”
provide free sanitary products                     unacceptable for students to lack
in all of its facilities. The Period               access to essential period products   Sian Taylor,
Exchange ensures that a lack of                    because they couldn’t afford them.    Chief Executive Officer,
access to sanitary products does                                                         USW Students’ Union
not act as a barrier to a student’s                Since the campaign launched,
ability to fully participate in                    students have reacted positively
university life.                                   by contributing items to the
                                                   exchange and engaging on social
The campaign was inspired by                       media. While The Period Exchange
the Red Box Project and research                   was established as a short-term
conducted by the BBC, which                        solution to the larger issue of
found that free menstrual                          Period Poverty, the willingness of
products helped improve school                     students to contribute sanitary
attendance. USW Students’ Union                    products to the exchange
wanted to send a clear message                     has created a successful and           “I was elected as a student
that: they were committed to                       sustainable solution.                 officer two years ago and
                                                                                         this is easily the campaign I
                                                                                         am most proud of.”
More:
www.uswsu.com
                                                                                         Liam Powell,
                                                                                         Vice President for
                                                                                         Education and Welfare.
Physical activity, health and well-being Page 25

Promoting physical
health and well-being
                                                                                   “Starting C25K has made
                                                                                   such a difference to my
                                                                                   attitude towards exercise. I
with Couch to 5k                                                                   would never have had the
                                                                                   confidence to run on my
                                                                                   own, but now in week five
Cardiff Metropolitan Sport has rolled out its own version of Couch                 I can run for 10 minutes
to 5K (C25K), which is suitable for all, to students on both of its                without stopping. I feel so
campuses and the uptake in participation has been positive.                        much better and confident
                                                                                   since starting, and have now
Couch to 5k was set up by the        instructor or on their own. The               started regularly attending
NHS to get people moving. It is      sessions are a mix of walking                 fitness classes within Cardiff
aimed at those who have never        and running, gradually improving              Met, something I never
run and would like to, or those      stamina and fitness in the nine               thought I would do before”.
who want to be more active.          weeks, and completing a 5k run.
Both of Cardiff Metropolitan                                                       Gwenllian Wilson,
University’s campuses are            Due to the popularity of the C25k,            Business Management
surrounded by large and accessible   the University runs this event                student
parks, and those who do not want     every 12 weeks. This year Cardiff
to go outside can complete the       Met is sponsoring the Cardiff 10k,
programme in the University’s        and all students who successfully
fitness centres.                     complete the C25K program will
                                     have the opportunity of a free
Students are given a free            place to run the 10k along with
programme to follow for nine         8,000 runners.
weeks, in sessions with an

                                                                                                                More:
                                                                                        Allison Jones, Fitness Manager
                                                               • AGJones@cardiffmet.ac.uk www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/sport
Page 26 Physical activity, health and well-being

Promoting health,
well-being and resilience                                                                   “We hope that by allowing
                                                                                           students to access the

through physical activity                                                                  Sports Centre freely, it will
                                                                                           encourage more students to
                                                                                           participate in sport, health
                                                                                           and well-being activities.
From free fitness classes to daily swims during exam time,                                 Working collectively with
Aberystwyth University is taking positive action to boost the                              others, we are keen to
numbers of students using its Sports Centre facilities to improve                          understand and address
their mental health and well-being.                                                        barriers to engagement, and
                                                                                           innovate our offer to reach
While exercise builds resilience for               five different gym areas, more          out to those who might not
both physical and mental health,                   than 60 exercise classes a week,        automatically consider sport
many people find the barrier to                    a pool and sauna, a climbing            and active lifestyle is for
exercise, either real or perceived,                wall and a 400m floodlit running        them, ultimately improving
stops them from taking that first                  track. The Platinum Pass for            the student’s experience and
step. Overcoming this barrier and                  non-residential students costs          enjoyment of University life.”
encouraging as many students                       £125 per year. As a result of these
as possible to take up some form                   initiatives, student footfall through   Darren Hathaway,
of exercise is a priority for the                  the Sports Centre increased by          Manager of the Sport
University’s well-being agenda.                    25,000 visits in 2017/18 compared       Centre at Aberystwyth
                                                   to the previous year.                   University
Aberystwyth’s flagship initiative                  Other measures taken by the
gives students who live in                         University to support access to
university accommodation free                      exercise include:
and unlimited access to its Sports                 • A Well-being Pathway to
Centre’s Platinum Pass, offering                         Health for students suffering
Physical activity, health and well-being Page 27

    with their health, with a         •   Discover Aber – Freshers’
    choice of: five sessions              Week walking and jogging
    with a personal trainer;              sessions to familiarise                  “The benefits of exercising
    group exercise for mind               students with the town                   are improved well-being,
    and body; or three months’            while exercising.                        a healthier lifestyle, more
    gym membership with a             •   Couch Potato to Spring Bean,             positive attitude, and
    buddy system.                         a four week introduction to              improved sleep and fitness. I
•   Free daily fitness and well-          exercise for students with               have started to get to know
    being classes, and swimming           high anxiety.                            other people and it’s great
    during exam periods.              •   Dance-Fit Dark (luminous                 to feel part of a community,
•   Short promotions of £1 per            outfits and exercise in the              and I just feel generally more
    day for unlimited Sports              dark with disco lights for               positive. Going to the Sports
    Centre use.                           those who have body image                Centre has helped me to
                                          or co-ordination concerns).              not only lose weight, it has
    The University also offers                                                     improved my mental health
    short courses to inspire              The Sports Centre now opens              and well-being, especially
    those who may otherwise               earlier in the morning across            around anxiety and stress in
    not venture into the Sports           seven days to meet demand.               advance of exams.”
    Centre including:                     The University continues to
•   Quiet Inductions for                  support health and well-                 Stephen Johnstone,
    autistic students.                    being through making sport               Student
                                          and exercise accessible and
                                          attractive to all students.

More:
Darren Hathaway • sports@aber.ac.uk
www.aber.ac.uk/en/sportscentre
Page 28 Physical activity, health and well-being

Championing
physical activity
                                                                                          “I am currently a professional
                                                                                          rugby player with the

and mental health
                                                                                          Ospreys and have recently
                                                                                          completed my introduction
                                                                                          to counselling course. I have
                                                                                          a keen interest in mental
Bridgend College has introduced rugby sessions available to all
                                                                                          health and would like to help
female students across its two main campuses. This is led by a
                                                                                          in any way possible.”
Professional Graduate Certificate in Education student and qualified
rugby coach, who is positive about the impact of sport and physical
                                                                                          Lloyd Ashley,
activity on mental health.
                                                                                          Student Rugby Coach
The College is trying to increase                  poor mental health to try different
the number of students involved                    strategies to try to improve it. The
in physical activity to improve                    College hopes to further grow the
their confidence, self-esteem                      number accessing this opportunity
and general physical and mental                    and overcoming the barriers of
health. The Student Well-being                     participation in sport and
Team reached out to students to                    physical activity.
find out what they wanted and
bring their ideas to fruition.                     To develop the team further, the
                                                   College offers taster sessions to
A significant number of female                     groups of students, and supports
students requested a female rugby                  students in improving team
team at the same time as the                       building skills, communication,
student offered to coach a rugby                   physical and mental health,
team. The support of the new                       social networks, self-worth
rugby coach made it possible for                   and confidence.
students who were suffering with

More:
Mrs Samantha Gunnarsson (Well-being and Safeguarding Manager)
• SGunnarsson@bridgend.ac.uk • www1.bridgend.ac.uk
Physical activity, health and well-being Page 29

Promoting physical
health and well-being
with coaching
A hands-on Foundation Degree in Rugby Coaching and Development
is the result of a partnership between the University of South
Wales, the Welsh Rugby Union, Cardiff Blues and the Dragons.

As part of the course, students
gain practical coaching skills
with Dragons or Cardiff Blues
community rugby teams. Students       “This partnership is a great             “This is an excellent initiative
go on to work as coaches within       example of that investment,             and the collaboration
communities, developing and           with key partners working               between the University, WRU
delivering sports initiatives.        together for the good of the            and the regions will provide
                                      students and the game.”                 the next generation of
The course allows students                                                    community coaches in Wales
to study all sub-disciplines of       Ryan Jones,                             to support the development
coaching and fitness, and gain        WRU Head of Rugby                       of the game at grassroots
industry-recognised qualifications.   Participation                           level. Integral to the course
They learn all aspects of children                                            is that students learn about
and youth coaching, rugby                                                     the importance of their own
coaching, rugby development,                                                  health and fitness as well
social inclusion and sports                                                   as that of the children and
management skills.                                                            young people with whom
                                                                              they engage throughout
                                                                              their course.”

                                                                              Paul Rainer,
                                                                              Head of Sports

More:
Paul Rainer
• paul.rainer@southwales.ac.uk
Page 30 Physical activity, health and well-being

  Photo:
  Promoting physical health and well-being with coaching
Safe environment, personal health, and relationships Page 31

Safe
environment,
personal
health, and
relationships
Page 32 Safe environment, personal health, and relationships

Creating safe and
inclusive learning
                                                                                     “The Students’ Union
                                                                                     welcomes opportunities
                                                                                     to open the dialogue
environments                                                                         surrounding student safety
                                                                                     and well-being. By working
                                                                                     with the University to deliver
Shared respect for one another should be embedded in the                             these opportunities, we
university experience. Universities should be inclusive learning and                 aim to foster a culture of
working environments, where all learners and staff are supported,                    acceptance and respect for
feel respected and can demonstrate their potential.                                  all students and staff, and
                                                                                     work towards Wales’s goal
As part of its induction                       harassment, and the importance        of being an inclusive and
programme for all new students,                of consent.                           proudly diverse nation.”
the University of Wales Trinity
Saint David (UWTSD) has                        The sessions encourage open           Becky Ricketts,
introduced dedicated sessions                  discussions across courses and        President Carmarthen
to create conversations around                 boundaries about these important      Campus Trinity Saint David
equality, diversity and respect                topics, creating a supportive         Students’ Union
to the forefront of the students’              community and aiming to go
experience. These sessions,                    beyond raising awareness,
developed with the Students’                   The University plans to introduce a
Union, introduce a range of topics             short online course about equality
including barriers to equality,                and respect for new students
the impact of inappropriate                    to complete as part of their
behaviours, becoming an active                 induction process.
bystander, what constitutes sexual                                                   “These sessions have
                                                                                     been welcomed by our
                                                                                     students, who are fully
                                                                                     engaged with the process.
                                                                                     We have developed a
                                                                                     great partnership with
                                                                                     the Students’ Union to
                                                                                     ensure that these sessions
                                                                                     are embedded across
                                                                                     the University.”

                                                                                     Dr Lewis Pearson,
                                                                                     Head of Life Design

More:
Lewis Pearson
• Lewis.pearson@uwtsd.ac.uk
Safe environment, personal health, and relationships Page 33

Mindfulness programme:
a proactive approach to                                                           “A sense of community is
                                                                                  built up in the groups, as

mental health provision                                                           sharing practice tends to
                                                                                  deepen it. The tendency is
                                                                                  to notice those things that
                                                                                  resource us, rather than
Rising concerns in the higher       Mindfulness - the practice of
                                                                                  deplete us, and make choices
education sector call for a more    fostering greater awareness of
                                                                                  to enhance well-being.”
proactive approach to student       the present moment - can help to
mental health. A cultural shift     manage stress, sleep, focus and
                                                                                  Heather Fish,
is needed to move away from         concentration. Three introductory
                                                                                  Mindfulness tutor
reactive problem solving, towards   sessions and four eight-week
a heightened focus on well-         mindfulness courses have run
being that is embedded into         across UWTSD campuses since
the student experience. The         2018. The student response has
University of Wales Trinity Saint   been overwhelmingly positive,
David (UWTSD) has responded by      describing the courses as “a good
offering free mindfulness courses   way to tackle life’s problems”, by
for students as part of a broader   providing a “variety of tools for
offering of self-reflection, life   every situation” and helping to
skills development and personal     “relax before assignments, exams
development content.                and deadlines”.
Page 34 Safe environment, personal health, and relationships

                                                                                      “The transition from thinking
                                                                                      you are a victim to a survivor
                                                                                      is one that is long and can be
                                                                                      a struggle. Having made this
                                                                                      transition myself through
                                                                                      various types of abuse, it

Bystander project:                                                                    is important to me to aid
                                                                                      others with this transition if

working to create                                                                     they seem stuck. I have also
                                                                                      now acquired skills, from the

safer communities                                                                     Bystander Intervention, to
                                                                                      help prevent someone having
                                                                                      to go through this transition
The #MeToo movement shone a global light on the experiences                           at all.”
of those who have experienced sexual harassment, violence or
abuse. To help raise awareness of the issues and how witnesses can                    Charley Rodgers,
respond, Aberystwyth University has partnered with Welsh Women’s                      student
Aid to offer Bystander Intervention training to students.
150 Aberystwyth University                     rape and sexual assault, domestic
students have so far attended                  abuse, and how to develop the
a free “Bystander Intervention”                skills necessary to safely intervene
training programme showing them                as a trained Bystander.
how to recognise and intervene                                                        “The Bystander sessions
to stop harassment, violence                                                          have not only made me more
and abuse. The training gives                                                         aware of pressing issues in
students the skills and confidence                “Aberystwyth University             society, particularly those
to respond appropriately when                     has been very successful in         concerning interpersonal
they are worried someone may                      promoting the Bystander             violence, but have also
be experiencing abuse or sexual                   Intervention with students          taught me how to approach
violence. It takes a preventative                 and staff, and the support          potentially difficult situations
approach, and looks at changing                   for the project has been            in an appropriate manner.
cultural norms that condone                       fantastic. The University           These skills are invaluable
sexism and harassment.                            has shown a tremendous              and I’ll use them throughout
                                                  commitment to addressing            my life. Everyone should
The programme is offered twice                    violence against women,             think about what they can do
a year in workshops led by a                      domestic abuse and sexual           to be better, this course can
qualified trainer from Welsh                      violence on campus”.                help be the first step.”
Women’s Aid, with contributions
from Aberystwyth University staff.                Alice Lilley,                       Emily Winfield,
Students cover a range of topics                  Welsh Women’s Aid                   student
including culture and gender,

More:
Jeremy Newman – 01970 6222516 • jen11@aber.ac.uk
Esther Prytherch 01970 622365 • ejp14@aber.ac.uk
Safe environment, personal health, and relationships Page 35

‘No Grey Area’ Campaign:
Promoting a ‘Zero-Tolerance’                                                           “In the last twelve months,
                                                                                       Bangor University has

approach to sexual harassment                                                          increased its work to prevent
                                                                                       and provide support in the
                                                                                       area of sexual violence.
                                                                                       A member of staff has
In 2018, Bangor University Students’ Union began a University-wide
                                                                                       been appointed to provide
campaign to tackle sexual violence and to promote the University’s
                                                                                       specialised support for
Zero-Tolerance approach to all forms of harassment. No Grey
                                                                                       students and work across
Area’s message was simple – that the University takes all incidents
                                                                                       the University training staff
of harassment seriously and believes that there is no ambiguity
                                                                                       and leading an institutional
between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
                                                                                       strategy on the prevention
A short video featuring prominent    University’s multiple campuses,                   of harassment, hate crime
members of the University’s senior   engaging with students, and                       and sexual violence. Peer-
staff team and students raised       promoting the zero-tolerance                      to-peer awareness raising
awareness of the negative effects    message. The campaign                             is an important part of any
of sexual harassment, driving        culminated with a march through                   strategy to address sexual
home the message that it is safe     the city’s high street to ‘Reclaim                violence in universities, and
to come forward and that the         the Night’, a national campaign                   the No Grey Areas campaign
University will respond.             raising awareness of violence                     has been an important part
                                     against women and demanding                       of this awareness raising.”
The week-long campaign included      justice for rape survivors.
outreach work across Bangor                                                            Maria Lorenzini,
                                                                                       Director of Student
                                                                                       Services, Bangor,
                                                                                       and member of the
                                                                                       Universities UK Taskforce
                                                                                       on Harassment, Hate
                                                                                       Crime, and Violence
                                                                                       Against Women.

                                                                                                                        More:
                                       Helen Munro, Student Equality and Diversity Officer, Bangor University Students’ Union,
                                                                                                    • h.munro@bangor.ac.uk
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