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College enhances wellbeing offering with NHS partnership

Thursday 8 October 2020

Selby College enhances its wellbeing offering with new NHS partnership

Ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10th, Selby College has announced it has expanded its mental health and wellbeing offering with a new NHS-based mental health and emotional wellbeing service.

This move is a part of the College’s whole approach to mental health and wellbeing and will provide staff and students with additional support across the College.

A team of Councillors from Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust - which provide mental health and learning disabilities services across North Yorkshire and York – are working alongside the College’s Counsellor Lorraine Fisher and Guidance Support Tutors (GSTs) to provide advice for those who may be struggling, as well as to help raise awareness of problems young people commonly experience.

“The College has a strong commitment to mental health and wellbeing and the addition of the new NHS service only further enhances this,” said Lorraine. “At Selby College, we care deeply about our students and our main goal is to not only give them the skills they need to succeed but to live happy lives. With the new service in place, we can offer students specialist support to further help them in dealing with particular emotions they may be feeling or challenges they may be facing.”

The ‘wellbeing in mind team’ will also work closely with others involved in the care of young people, including local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). This will help to bridge the gap between services by strengthening relationships, which will ensure children and their families get the right support, when and where it is needed.

The team is made up of NHS professionals including senior clinicians, higher-level therapists and Education Mental Health Practitioner Trainees (EMHPs). The team works in schools and colleges to offer support to students experiencing common emotional wellbeing difficulties, as well as provide advice and training on mental wellbeing issues to staff.

Phil Sayles, Principal at Selby College, said: “We are delighted to have NHS colleagues working alongside our student support services to help address the emotional and mental wellbeing needs of young people in our College community, which is even more welcome as we return following lockdown. Together we can do a lot to support young people and I am delighted we are able to provide a physical base for the NHS team on our campus.”

This comes as the College prepares for World Mental Health Day on Saturday, 10th October, encouraging students and staff to take the time to talk to open up communication.

As part of this, the joint counselling team will hold virtual wellbeing rooms on Friday, 9th October, for all members of staff and students, where they can connect and access resources and tips on how to improve wellbeing. Members of the team are also sharing their own tips on the ‘five ways to wellbeing’, which encourages people to stay connected, keep active, keep learning, to take notice and to give during this difficult time.

Pre-covid, for staff, the College also regularly hosted activities incorporating fitness, including a weekly HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session, delivered by Amy Hague, Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Science, and a weekly Yoga class, delivered by Careers Officer Helen Howard.

Lorraine and HR Manager Alison Whale also hold regular ‘Wellbeing Wednesdays’ for staff, in which they share activities and ideas to improve wellbeing through creative distractions and shared experiences. This includes quizzes, craft projects and advice and tips on how to improve wellbeing.