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Mental health and wellbeing sessions spread #BeKind message

Experts from mental health charity, Mind, are delivering a ground-breaking new course in mental health awareness to Telford College students.

The course is covering a range of issues including anxiety, depression, self-harm, active listening, confidentiality, and safeguarding.

Initially, it is being delivered to a group of 24 level three students who are in the second year of their childcare studies. But there are already plans to roll it out across other areas of the college curriculum.

Dan Blasczyk, Telford College’s student engagement officer, said: “This course, spread across three weeks, is designed to give students elementary tools and knowledge to support their peers moving forward.

“Students will be able to take on ambassador responsibilities which will allow them to act as peer mentors for new students or students who need a helping hand during their time at college. We’re proud of our students who’ve volunteered for the opportunity.”

The level three students have spoken about how valuable they are finding the course.

Harmarni Watkins said: “I was shocked to hear that children as young as five can suffer from mental health and the facts and figures of mental health in this country were eye opening. It is very useful to put towards my future career, as I want to work in mental health.”

Sophie Marshall said: “I have learned how to show that I’m listening to someone as a peer mentor using active listening skills. Active listening isn’t as easy as it seems. Time flew by in the first session and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Rosemary Johnson added: “I’m finding the course really beneficial as I’ve discovered how many people are actually affected by it. It has given me a better understanding of how to help someone and stop them from putting themselves in danger.”

Dan Blasczyk added: “We are delighted with how engaged the students have been so far, and it is great to hear them say how eager they are to attend further training.

“Many of these students aim to work in education and some of them are looking to become mental health professionals. This will give them invaluable tools and knowledge to become peer mentors in the college and have a better understanding of mental health and wellbeing.”

He added: “We are also actively promoting the message of #BeKind around college, and our peer mentors will help us create a safer environment.”

Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. It campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

It says: “We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.”