Telford College is praised for its mental health support

Telford College has been praised for the mental health support network it is offering to students.

A series of events are being held around the Telford College campus as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

It comes as a new survey reveals the toll which the Covid-19 pandemic has taken on young people across the UK.

Student engagement officer Dan Blasczyk is promoting the college’s support services throughout this week in tutorials, and at break times.

“There is no doubt that young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing has been significantly impacted by the pandemic,” he said.

“Not being able to see their friends, the nationwide uncertainty around GCSE or A level exams planning, and the general restrictions of lockdown have all contributed.

“The mental health and wellbeing of staff and students is extremely important to our college community, and we are using this week to raise awareness and promote the message of #BeKind and the importance of talking about our mental health.

“We work very hard here to identify early signs of mental health problems, and ensure that students know we are here to support and listen to them.”

Taylor Arnett, a level three business student, said: “The college supports you with mental health; they have a team of counsellors to talk to if you want, and the tutors are brilliant – they make you feel valued and appreciated.”

And Pardeep Singh, who is on the same course, said: “I believe mental health is important for young people as everyone goes through their own problems.”

A survey carried out on behalf of BBC Children In Need says more than two thirds of those aged 11-18 believe young people’s mental health in general has worsened as a result of the pandemic.

And it says around one in three of them are not comfortable asking for help if they need it.

Telford College has access to ‘Togetherall’ – a free online mental health service available to all staff and students.

It provides users with a place of safety without judgement for people to support each other, providing clinical expertise and peer-to-peer support through a healthy community that is monitored 24 hours a day.

People who sign up to the service can anonymously access a range of tools and services, including self-assessment and recommended resources, creative tools to aid self-expression and self-guided courses.

Dan said: “Mental Health UK suggests five ways of improving your wellbeing: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, and Give. These are messages we actively promote around the college.

“Giving encapsulates many things, from giving a donation, giving thanks or giving your time through volunteering. The key is giving support to others.”


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