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New Fife College Breathing Space benches highlight importance of keeping mental health front of mind over festive period

Fife College (@fifecollege) has placed special Breathing Space benches at each of their campuses to give students and staff a dedicated space to find time for their health and wellbeing.

The benches, which were installed to coincide with the College’s ‘Get Ready for Christmas’ health and wellbeing campaign, have been placed in the grounds of the College’s campuses to promote kindness and everyday positive relationships.

Part of the College’s commitment to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff, the benches are a result of a collaboration with the Scottish psychological counselling service Breathing Space and their ‘Breathing Space Benches’ project.

The College’s ‘Get Ready for Christmas’ event, has been run online on the College’s social media channels and student portal, sharing advice and resources to help students and staff stay safe, happy and healthy over the Christmas period.

The campaign has featured content from organisations and support services such as NHS Fife, Fife Voluntary Action, Citizen’s Advice Bureau Fife and Fife Young Carers, which highlight different ways to protect and improve health and wellbeing during the winter months.

John Blakey, Fife College’s Health and Wellbeing Adviser, said:

“Supporting the health and wellbeing of students and staff is at the heart of what we do at Fife College, so we are delighted to place these special Breathing Space benches at each of our campuses.

“The benches have been placed in strategic spots, creating a quiet space for students and staff to find time for their health and wellbeing.

“It’s been great to time the installation of the benches with our annual ‘Get Ready for Christmas’ event which shares some really important information and advice about how we can all look after each other during the Christmas period.

“Thanks to all our partners, from charities to support services, for getting involved in the event. As ever, if any student or member of staff feels they need support or advice, or someone to reach out to at any time then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.”

Lisa-Jane Dock, Breathing Space/Living Life National Development Officer, said:

“The Breathing Space Bench Project is all about creating welcoming spaces.  These benches provide a space to sit and take some breathing space, taking a wee bit of time out for yourself and listening and talking together, by reaching out and showing kindness and compassion.

“Fife College is doing a doing a tremendous job in taking forward this mental wellbeing agenda, offering a place to connect and reflect, and showing that we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about how we are feeling.

“If anyone needs to take a chat beyond the bench, our advisers at Breathing Space are available in the evenings and at the weekends on 0800 83 85 87 to listen and offer information and advice.”

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