Health and Wellbeing
Our focus this year has been on Student mental health, wellbeing and equality.
In January the Student Association organised and ran a Health, Wellbeing and Respect Fair.
West Lothian College Student Association worked in partnership with a number of staff, students and external partners to host their annual health and wellbeing fair- REFRESH.
The aim of the event was to provide information, advice and support for students on a range of matters in relation to health and wellbeing.
The event focused on a number of key topics including health, fitness, welfare, poverty and mental health and wellbeing.
A highlight of the event was a campaign created by preparation for health and social care students – don’t judge me for being myself.
Students created a washing line and hung shirts with messages and information about mental health, in the college courtyard for all to see and discuss. The aim was to air your laundry and don’t be afraid to talk about your mental health, reducing stigma and encouraging students to talk.
Other highlights included Therapets attending the event. Five dogs were in attendance with their owners, hosting sessions for over 87 students to help promote how Therapets can counter stress and in turn improve general health and wellbeing.
At the event a room was dedicated for a ‘tea and a chat’, where staff and students could come in a safe environment and speak to Donna from Neil’s Hugs Foundation and Susan Watson life coach as well as other peers.
Neil Findlay MSP was also in attendance to talk to students about fair work, health and wellbeing.
Micole Cochrane from West Lothian College Student Association said: “The event was a huge success and we have to thank all the organisations and individuals who contributed on the day. We believe in the importance of holding an event like this as it can result in students having a greater awareness of how they can look after their own health and wellbeing whilst reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.”
The Student Association have also been working with Sport and Fitness Centre, Beauty Department and Support for Learning in order to launch a referral system for Students who life with poor mental health. The referral system is currently being trialled by 4 Students.
When the trial is over, the referral system will be launched to all Students. Any Student presenting any signs or symptoms of poor mental health or wellbeing will be accepted. They do not need to have a medical diagnosis. The Referral system promotes all aspects of Student Health and Wellbeing. Students who take part in this referral scheme will be offered:
- Free annual College gym membership and advice
- Free lunchtime mindfulness sessions
- Free Seated Yoga
- Welfare pack -with toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant, body wash, safety razor
- Information on how Students can take steps in order to look after their own mental health and wellbeing
- Healthy Body Healthy Mind and Think Positive information and resources
- Smoking support in College and Smokeline number
- Free Hair and Beauty treatments
- Free Soup and a Roll, term time 11-1
- Breakfast Happy Hour, Toast and Butter or Porridge 30p
In addition all Student Sport activities will be advertised as smoke free and will incorporate the healthy body healthy mind logo on all sporting strips.
Our research and knowledge has evidenced that finances can be stretched whilst at College. The Student Association launched a Student Welfare Hub. This provides students with a pack of essential items in order to help them look after themselves. The pack includes essential toiletries, information on local and national support organisations, Healthy Body Healthy Mind information and Smokeline numbers.
The Student Association have been working in partnership wit the College and agreement has been made to provide all Students Monday-Friday Term time 2018/19 with free Soup and a Roll.
‘in response to feedback from our Student Association and staff that more and more students are experiencing poverty, we now offer free soup and a roll so that no student has to face their learning on an empty stomach’ (Jackie Galbriath)
Another initiative which is going well, is our Clean air campus. All students are supporting this positive and necessary step in order to ensure that health and wellbeing is a priority. It is clearly visible that Students are using the designated smoking shelters and not smoking in the College Square. In addition numbers of smokers has reduced significantly over the past few years and support is in place for those who wish to stop.
The Student Association have been working very hard to establish their Clubs and societies and all information is in the Clubs and Society section.
The Student Association have also amended all of their policies, procedures and job roles to incorporate a statement regarding health, wellbeing, and equality.
The Student Association have also been raising the profile of our C Card facility raising awareness of national aids day and student safety over the months of December and January. Our Student Association President and Vice President are C Card trained and able to provide support and advice to Students on CCard products and facilities.
West Lothian College now provides free sanitary products across the College for our Students. No Students should be without these necessary items. A list of vending points are advertised in all College Toilets.