Myerscough makes commitment to support mental health and wellbeing

Monday 20 May 2019

Myerscough College has reaffirmed its commitment to staff and students by signing up to a brand new national mental health and wellbeing charter.

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The charter has been created by the Association of Colleges, in conjunction with mental health experts, and is an 11-point document, which includes commitments to:

  • Promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma
  • Providing appropriate mental health training for staff
  • Providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate

To show Myerscough’s commitment to good mental well-being, the College invited Preston MP, Sir Mark Hendrick, to Myerscough, to discuss the importance of the issue, and to witness the official signing of the charter.

Every year, 1 in 10 young people experience a mental health problem and 1 in 5 young people aged 16-24 experience a common mental illness such as anxiety or depression at any one time. Add to these facts, 75% of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experience their first symptoms before the age of 24, meaning that Myerscough plays a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its students and staff.

Alison Robinson, Chief Executive and Principal, said: “Every student and staff member deserves to work, study and train in an environment that supports them to be healthy, happy and secure. That is why I am proud to sign the AoC Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter on behalf of Myerscough.

‘’We take our commitment seriously and whilst we have a great track record, we are always keen to do more. This charter provides a clear direction of travel that our students and staff can hold us to account as we continue to work together to support their health and wellbeing whilst they are with us.’’

Richard Caulfield, Mental Health lead at the Association of Colleges, said: ‘’We are delighted that Myerscough College is one of the first to sign up to our Mental Health & Wellbeing Charter, created in consultation with AoC’s Mental Health Policy Group.

“Every single day colleges like Myerscough provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. This includes providing support for both staff and student wellbeing at the right time, in the right place

 “This is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that go on and our charter gives colleges the chance to publicly state their commitment to the mental health agenda.”

The measures set out in the charter aim to help promote early intervention for those struggling with their mental health, and create a supportive environment, sending students and staff a clear message that if they are struggling with their mental health, support is available.

The AoC Mental Health Charter in full:

The mental health charter encourages colleges to commit to:

  • Ensuring that wellbeing and mental health work is led by a senior manager supported by a member of staff with particular responsibility for mental health
  • Having a wellbeing and mental health policy accompanied by a clear implementation action plan which is monitored regularly and reviewed annually.
  • Creating an open and inclusive college ethos which includes respect for those with mental ill health.
  • Promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma through curriculum teaching and also by promoting wellbeing through tutorial programmes
  • Encouraging and collecting student views on mental health and wellbeing by working with the Students Union and other student representative bodies
  • Providing appropriate mental health training for staff
  • Ensuring a consistent and positive approach to staff wellbeing
  • Providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate or alternatively signposting to external support services
  • Providing relevant information to parents and carers
  • Establishing effective links with local health system and voluntary sector mental health providers
  • Promoting the benefit that physical activity and sport has on mental well-being

by Dave Salmon 

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