College leads the way in scheme to support students’ mental health
PUBLISHED: 09:39 11 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:39 11 June 2020
A coastal college is helping to lead the way in a new national mental health and wellbeing scheme.
East Coast College is involved in a new Government scheme to help schools and colleges further support the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff during the coronavirus outbreak.
The initiative will see schools and colleges provided with new online resources – designed by health and education experts – to boost mental health support for staff and pupils.
Videos, webinars and teaching materials, produced in partnership with charities, will be made available to help to foster conversations about mental health and reassure young people who are worried about the impact of the virus on their lives.
The extra support was announced by the government on June 7, and builds on their partnership working with schools, colleges and health services in local areas in response to the pandemic.
Chief executive of East Coast College Stuart Rimmer is an expert advisory panel member for Further Education Colleges and has been working with Department for Education officials to help the development of recommendations for consideration by school’s minister Nick Gibb.
Mr Rimmer said: “It is a hugely positive step that we are seeing thoughtful and considered announcements to support staff mental health and wellbeing in the school and college sector.
“Supporting leaders and frontline staff is critical, amplified recently by significant additional pressures of Covid-19.
“Developing support programmes, peer to peer and coaching will help at these critical and complex times.”
East Coast College recently promoted Mental Health Awareness Week from May 18 to May 22, posting daily activities and support for students through its social media channels as well as encouraging staff to submit photos and videos of how they have been keeping fit and healthy during lockdown.
The college also offers support through its dedicated wellbeing pages on both the East Coast College and Lowestoft Sixth Form College websites and the safeguarding and wellbeing teams at both the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth campuses have been available to speak to on the phone or over email.
For staff, the college has provided wellbeing guides, a weekly social quiz night and the chance to join groups such as a book club, listening groups and virtual fitness sessions.
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