Today we are marking #WorldMentalHealthDay. Our further education sector is committed to prioritising the mental health of our learners and staff which in turn will support healthier individuals and communities, and a stronger, more resilient Wales.
World Mental Health Day is about raising awareness of mental health and driving positive change for everyone’s mental health. Good mental health is essential for a prosperous Wales and our further education colleges have a vital role to play.
We are committed to prioritising mental health support and raising awareness across the FE sector. Here are some of the things we’re doing to help make a difference.
- We gave evidence to the Senedd Children, Young People and Education Committee, calling for greater collaboration between HE, FE and schools to ensure smoother transitions; more longer-term funding for mental health support and more meaningful training for staff; improved access to Welsh language mental health support; and a whole system approach to mental health and wellbeing across the post-16 sector to ensure parity of experience for learners regardless of where they study.
- The ColegauCymru Active Wellbeing Strategy emphasises the importance of physical activity to support good learner mental health and in setting the foundation for healthy lives and communities, making a solid foundation for a strong workforce.
- Our Welsh Government funded active wellbeing events, including the Outdoor Challenge and Multisport events, ensures that less active learners are engaged in activity, which in turn supports improved mental health.
- ColegauCymru has commissioned various pieces of research on the on the value of active wellbeing - connecting activity, wellbeing, and better mental health among FE learners.
- ColegauCymru Active Wellbeing Strategic Group - focusing on sport, physical activity and wellbeing issues in the FE sector. This group meets to discuss the latest developments in policy and practice with the aim of improving learner access to activity, developing and sharing good practice, and creating opportunities for colleges across Wales.
- Working together with Universities Wales, NUS Wales and Student Services Organisation, AMOSSHE, ColegauCymru helped to develop Post-16 Mental Health policy recommendations for the consideration of Welsh Government.
- With the support of Welsh Government funding, we’ve created range of practical mental health teaching and learning resources for the FE sector. These include a podcast on developing resilience; an identification tool for learners to use to self-identify risks, resilience and wellbeing; a Wellbot programme; training courses for support staff; and resources to enable staff and learners to learn techniques for effective coping mechanisms, positive social behaviours, assertiveness, negotiation, decision making and relaxation.
As we mark #WorldMentalHealthDay, join us to continue the conversation about mental health. To show everyone that mental health matters. And let people know that it’s okay to ask for help.
Lucy Hopkins, Communications Manager