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Student Roost teams up with BreatheUni to offer online wellbeing session

Images of affirmation cards used by Student Roost and designed by students. One reads: Take a self care day. Another reads: It won't feel like this forever. Another says: Hey, everything will be okay. Another says: You do you. The final card reads: Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted.

Accommodation provider Student Roost has invited its 20,000 residents to a free online resident wellbeing workshop this week, with student initiative BreatheUni.

The session on the evening of Thursday 19 May will include a brief presentation, followed by a stigma-busting Q&A session with the founders of the initiative.

Student Roost residents are also being encouraged to join the online discussion by asking questions on topics related to mental health. They can do this anonymously before the event, or during it.

BreatheUni was founded by Jeremy Lyons and Louise Lyons-Appiah when they were both studying at university, with Louise at the University of Birmingham and Jeremy at the University of Westminster. With groups currently running in Birmingham, Westminster and Nottingham, BreatheUni offers both online and face-to-face safe spaces where students can speak to both peers and mental health professionals.

Student Roost is one of the UK’s largest student accommodation providers. The company will be opening five new properties in the next academic year, including new cities Brighton and Bristol. From this September onwards, 22,000 residents will live in one of 56 Student Roost properties across the UK.

The company has made a firm commitment to student mental health, with a fulltime national Resident Wellbeing Lead, and local team members available 24/7 in every Student Roost property. All customer-facing team members have mandatory resident wellbeing training, and 42 Student Roost team members across the UK have so far completed the nationally-recognised Mental Health First Aider programme.

During Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 (9-15 May), which this year focused on loneliness, Student Roost properties across the UK held a range of events and activities to help residents connect and get support. With the week coinciding with exam season in universities, these activities and events included wellbeing jars, gratitude trees, spa evenings and positivity post boxes.

The company also worked with students and team members in Sheffield to design special printed affirmation cards for residents to write on, keep, or give to friends or family.

Lowri Edwards, Resident Wellbeing Lead at Student Roost, said:

“We’re looking forward to holding this event for our residents and are so grateful to BreatheUni for giving their time to help. We hope that our residents will be able to chat to others across the UK and ask any questions they might have in a non-judgemental, safe space.

“We know that while university life can be amazing, it can also be tough for some, especially with everything that’s been happening the last few years.

“We don’t want any of our residents to feel alone, and I’m hoping that through events in our properties, and Student Roost team members available 24/7, we can help people connect with others and know where to get support if they need it.”

Louise Lyons-Appiah, Co-founder of BreatheUni, said:

“With support and learning about mental health, personal development, and EDI, our mission is to empower students to embrace their authentic self, so they can help themselves and are enabled to positively make social impact.”

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