From education to employment

How mental fitness platform Fika is revolutionising students’ mental health in colleges

Nick Bennett, Co-founder and Co-CEO at Fika

Mental fitness platform Fika has reached a landmark 31,000 hours of student training, reflecting the proactive and positive impact it is having in colleges across the UK.

Educational charity and leader in vocational and technical learning, NCFE, has fully-funded one year of access to Fika in 69 FE centres, meaning thousands of students have benefitted from this innovative approach to mental fitness, at a time when they need it most. This includes students and staff at Newcastle College amongst many, who have already clocked an impressive 4000 cumulative hours of mental fitness training.

For many, the pandemic underlined the importance of maintaining and supporting mental health, with Fika’s proactive approach seeking to give students the mental fitness skills to tackle problems before they even arise, through a series of accessible exercises.

The results have been hugely positive, with a marked uplift in key mental fitness areas. Students have seen their Motivation scores rise 5%, their Connection levels rise 14% and their Confidence levels grow by 14%.

Learners from Shrewbsury College have felt these benefits first-hand.

  • Lily said: “Mental fitness training has changed how I approach things. I used to be quite negative, but now I go around speaking to others with an open mind. I’ve been confident, positive, and don’t avoid people anymore. When I’ve had a bad day, I try to use some of the techniques Fika teaches you, like the breathing exercises, and it really has been helping me. I’ve seen a big improvement in my wellbeing!”
  • Connor agreed: “The biggest benefit of undertaking Fika’s courses has been learning how to handle situations by myself, I have more confidence to speak to someone if I do need help. It has made me want to be more involved in things and not just allow myself to be left out. Using Fika has also made me more aware of my own thoughts and feelings and taught me how to not let things affect me as much.”
  • Jasmin said: “Mental fitness is all about helping to control and improve your wellbeing. I think everyone should do mental fitness exercises a few times a day to help improve themselves. For me, the motivation course is so useful because it focuses on doing little things to lead you to do the big things. I also really like the communication, stress and positivity courses. The lessons I’ve learned from Fika have given me skills that I need to handle difficult situations now and in the future.”

Dawn Baker, Director of Innovations and Investments at NCFE, said:

“Over the past few years, it’s been hugely encouraging to see the country’s awareness of the importance of mental health grow. However, we are determined to take this a step further, and to provide learners and staff with the tools to maintain and support their mental health before it reaches a crisis point.

“Just like we take steps to look after our physical health, through exercise, sleeping well and eating a balanced diet, we should be encouraging everyone to take the same approach to their mental fitness. That’s why we’ve been so delighted to partner with Fika, whose approach to mental fitness training has already benefitted so many people across the country – from college staff wellbeing to the health of students of all ages.”

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