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Selby College puts wellbeing at the forefront of the agenda

Tuesday 16 February 2021

As part of its ongoing commitment to improving mental health and wellbeing, Selby College is carrying out a number of initiatives to support its staff and students during these challenging times.

Ahead of half-term, the College’s counselling team provided students with a number of recommended tips and activities to help them relax and de-stress during the break. This included puzzle solving activities such as themed online escape rooms, as well as relaxation reminders including arts and crafts, going outside or getting active, enjoying a book or a film, having a digital detox or other activities such as baking or cooking.

“Whether it’s trying out a new project, challenging yourself with a puzzle, watching a film or reading a book, these are all great ways to keep your mind active and escape from the day-to-day pressures that we are currently facing,” said Lorraine Fisher, Counsellor at Selby College. “Getting outside, whether that’s for a walk, a bike ride or running, is also proven to have significant benefits on our mood, focus and health as well as the physical benefits.”

This content has been added to the College’s dedicated wellbeing area within Google Classroom for its students and staff, which is updated weekly. The area covers a range of topics including self-help tips, anxiety management, effective time management, healthy finances, bereavement, ways to de-stress and tackling low mood, all linking to the College’s ‘five ways to wellbeing’ initiative.

For employees, the College has launched a film and book club to encourage colleagues to take time out to relax and enjoy a film or read a book. Monthly sessions will be held where staff can have open, fun and friendly discussions about the chosen texts.

“Student and staff wellbeing has always been one of our biggest priorities at Selby College, but this has become even more prominent during the pandemic. It’s no secret that we are all feeling the effects of the latest lockdown on our mental health and wellbeing, so it’s extremely important that our staff and students have access to the support they need during these difficult times,” added Lorraine.

The College also arranged a number of activities during Children’s Mental Health Week for staff and students, to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst young people and improving wellbeing.

Students tried out Zentangle doodling, which is a fun and relaxing way to draw using structured patterns, while staff at the College marked Inside Out Day by wearing items of clothing inside out. Pathway students also enjoyed a session by Kooth, who offer online mental health services, on how to manage stress and anxiety.

Students and staff from across the College have been getting active during lockdown as part of the Association of College’s Lunar Challenge and the Selby Community Challenge.

The Lunar Challenge tasked colleges with collectively travelling 238,855 miles (the distance to the moon) via running, cycling and walking. Selby College contributed just under 1000 (940) of the total miles, with the challenge being completed in just over a month.

Students and staff are also contributing significantly to the Selby Community Challenge, set up by Selby High, Selby College and Brayton Primary School to get the community moving during the latest lockdown.

The 31,988-mile challenge has seen nearly 500 residents rally together to race the world in virtual miles, with checkpoints at each of the seven world wonders. In just over a month, the community is on track to reach the fourth world wonder, which is the Colosseum, in Rome, Italy.

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