Health and Wellbeing
Our focus this year has really been on mental health, wellbeing and equality. We have been looking after Angus the black dog, in the college courtyard. The Black Dog – a statue named Angus – is part of the national mental health charity SANE’s nationwide Black Dog Campaign. The Black Dog is often seen as a metaphor for depression.
SANE’s campaign hopes to raise awareness of depression and other mental illness and encourage people to speak more openly and seek help and tackle the stigma that often surrounds mental health conditions.
In January the Student Association organised and ran a Health, Wellbeing and Respect Fair. Over 30 stall holders were in attendance and over 300 students attended making the fair a great success. Students also wrote ideas of ways in which they look after their own health and wellbeing and hung their ideas on our Health and Wellbeing tree which will be advertised to other students in order to provide hints and tips on how to look after yourself.
The Student Association have also been working with Sport and Fitness Centre and Support for Learning in order to launch a free gym membership for students suffering with mental health, through a new referral system. In addition it has been agreed that all Student Sport activities will be advertised as smoke free and will incorporate the healthy body healthy mind logo on all sporting strips.
We have also had a number of meetings with NHS Lothian, ASH Scotland and West Lothian Drug and Alcohol to have a look at the potential of having a clean air campus. We are currently at the early stages of talking to students and evaluating their thoughts, speaking with other clean air campuses to see the effectiveness and the impact and the policies that surround that. Once all the findings have been concluded we will write a report and take this to the Senior Management Team at the Student Association Committee.
The Student Association have been working very hard to establish their Clubs and societies including the launch of our Archery Club, walking club and ESOL club. We have also been working collaboratively with estates staff and they have agreed to offer a discounted healthy option once a month for staff and students which include 50p fruit salad.
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. During this period 98 C Cards were issued to students. In addition to this the Student Association Vice Presidents who were C Card trained provided a workshop and talk to classes.
The Student Association purchased a supply of sanitary products with the money that they made from NUS Card sales to provide an emergency usage facility for students.
Furthermore, we conducted a survey on the requirement of an internal food bank for students, in addition to the discretionary funds and Food bank provision in West Lothian. The difference, students can take a meal for one night to help in certain circumstances as not all will be eligible or have the appropriate transportation to get to a West Lothian Foodbank