We all recognise that student wellbeing is just as important as academic achievement. It’s during their further and higher education that students develop resilience and can more easily deal with challenges as they prepare for their future careers. However, students can also feel a lot of pressure during this time which can often lead to stress-related mental health conditions, so we’ve collated 5 ways to promote student wellbeing in your institution.
November 10, 2021
We all recognise that student wellbeing is just as important as academic achievement. It’s during their further and higher education that students develop resilience and can more easily deal with challenges as they prepare for their future careers. However, students can also feel a lot of pressure during this time which can often lead to stress-related mental health conditions, so we’ve collated 5 ways to promote student wellbeing in your institution:
1. Encourage Students To Practice Mindfulness
Students’ days can feel pretty ‘non-stop’ with the lessons, assessments, seminars, workshops and additional pressure they can put on themselves to achieve high grades. One way to try to combat this is to encourage a focus on mindfulness; where students take a moment to pause and take a breath, this will help to refocus on learning and settle any nerves. Be sure to promote the importance of taking a break from their busy schedules.
2. Normalise Talking About Mental Health
The best way to normalise and promote positive mental health is to talk about it. Promote any wellbeing services and resources you have as an institution; get the message to your students through emails or your student portal. You want students to be aware they have both internal and external services they can use. It’s also a good idea to celebrate awareness days and weeks across the year to keep a focus on this area and show students any conversation is not just a one-off.
3. Organise Events
Think about different ways you can promote student wellbeing; sessions don’t always need to be one-to-one or drop-in sessions. Instead, you could organise an event or group session so students have peers they can talk to. As well as promoting your services and resources, make sure you promote any wellbeing events you organise so students know what support is available to them and have the opportunity to sign-up. There are many types of events you could run, tea and talk, a yoga session, cake and a chat, or mentor and buddy programs. Think about hosting these events outside of busy hours, this will make them as accessible as possible for students.
4. Training Sessions For Staff
It’s likely that teaching staff will be the first to notice any wellbeing warning signs and concerns with their students, and they’ll have a much better chance of noticing these quickly if they know exactly what they’re looking for. Consider training for all staff in your institution who might need it, provide them with the knowledge to support students and ensure this training is regularly updated. Research external events and training where they can pick up valuable insight to help support students.
5. Create Partnerships
There are many charities and organisations dedicated to promoting mental health and making it more accessible. Look into how your institution could work in partnership with one of these organisations to offer extra support and improve your wellbeing services.
As further support, the charity Mind have a “Five Ways to Wellbeing” page on their website, this details five steps which have been researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation as a mental health equivalent of the “five a day” dietary advice. Adopting the Five Ways approach could really benefit your students, so why not share this link with them (click here).