Champion the uniqueness of our children
12 Dec 19
Professor George E Holmes DL | President & Vice Chancellor
Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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A crucial part of our well-being is having good mental health. Staff at the University of Bolton take students’ mental well-being very seriously, providing support for anyone who needs it.
Mark Ayling is the university’s mental health advisor. He believes there has been a sharp rise in a relatively short period of time in the numbers of students with mental health issues at universities across the UK. But Mark, who trained and worked as a psychiatric nurse in Greater Manchester before joining the university a year ago, says the good news is that there is a strong support network in place in Bolton. “I think that in education up until quite recently, having a mental health issue was viewed as something of a weakness. There is definitely less stigma around mental health than there was but it still exists. The good news is that now the view is that you need to have good mental health during your education.”
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme is ‘Stress: Are We Coping?’ Mark and his team have planned a series of events to build awareness of the impact of stress on mental well-being. On Monday afternoon, a ‘Well-Being Workshop’ about understanding and managing stress was held at Life Lounge, on the Deane Campus. Mark will be running a number of workshops at the university throughout the week. He said: “The aim is to address the issue of stress within the context of higher education. I work closely with everyone at the university, all age ranges. I see students and provide the relevant support, depending on the individual and the numbers vary depending on the time of year. There are peaks and troughs. It is obviously busier at the moment because it is exam time. “Each person’s needs might be different and I put the most appropriate intervention in place. In some cases, I might liaise with external local services. I also train staff on how to basically engage with someone who might be suffering a mental health issue. Next week is about raising awareness. To tell our students that there is support available. Stress can affect anyone. Everyone has their own vulnerability point when it comes to stress but when they hit that point it can affect you massively both mentally and physically.”
Professor George E Holmes DL, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bolton, said the health and well-being of all students were vital. “As well as ensuring our students have a wonderful learning experience, we know how important it is that they are supported emotionally and with any mental health issues they may face. “Mark and his team ensure that the right support is in place and it makes a supremely positive difference to our students. Keeping awareness of these issues at the top of the agenda is key and I am sure that the awareness week will be a tremendous success.”
Monday 14th May
‘Well-Being Workshop: What is Stress?’ At Life Lounge, Deane Campus, T2 2-4 pm: Hints and Tips on Understanding and Managing Stress at University.
Tuesday 15th May
‘Well-Being Workshop: Sleep Better’ at Life Lounge, Deane Campus, T2, 3-4.30 pm: Hints and tips on how to go about improving your sleep hygiene. Open to all students. To book, visit the Student Hub. No booking required if you just want to turn up on the day.
Wednesday 16th May
‘Well-Being Workshop: Exam Stress’ at Life Lounge, Deane Campus, T2, 2-4 pm: Hints and tips on understanding and managing exam stress at university.
3 pm – 4:30 pm open to all students. To book, visit the Student Hub.
Pets As Therapy: Zara and/or Ali, the pets as therapy dogs will be in attendance for both students and staff between 1 pm and 4 pm in and around the student centre at the University of Bolton.
Thursday 17th May
Mood and Mind Day Activities taking place throughout the day and across the campus include:
Well-Being Walks – Taking place over lunch, join us for a short, organised walk to blow those cobwebs away. More information will be available in the Student Centre.
Yoga – Taking place in Bolton One from 12:45 – 1:15 pm. More information will be available via the Bolton One website.
Smoothie Bike – 11 am to 2 pm – SLZ - Ride whilst blending, make your own smoothie whilst exercising.
Fun Zone – 11 am to 2 pm – SLZ – Take a break from revising or studying and play a game with friends
Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four and Noughts and Crosses ‘Let it Go’ – Balloon Release – 11 am to 2 pm – SLZ, write a message relating to Mental Health on a card, ready for a balloon release at 3 pm.
Mental Health Drop-In, Speak with the University Mental Health Advisor, 1 pm – 3 pm Student Centre (No appointment needed)
Mental Health Market Place – 11 am to 2 pm – SLZ/Chancellor’s Mall– Internal and External support agencies and charities will be in attendance in order to offer advice and support in relation to Mental Health. In attendance are: BAND, Bolton Psychological Services, University Chaplaincy, University Sports plus others.
Friday 18th May
‘Well-Being Workshop: What is Stress?’ At Life Lounge, T2 2–4 pm: Hints and Tips on Understanding and Managing Stress at University.
Stress Management Workshop, Life Lounge, T2, Deane Campus – 2– 4 pm, open to all students. To book, visit the Student Hub. No booking required if you just want to turn up on the day.