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Students unite and inspire positive actions to tackle mental health

Promoting positive health and wellbeing is a top priority in Waltham Forest College and students across the campus show their support and empower their peers to improve their wellbeing and resilience.

Colleges across England teach and train 2.2 million people each year – including 685,000 young people. 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 that 75% of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experience their first symptoms before the age of 24.

A student conference arranged to discuss the mental health theme was attended by over 100 class representatives who played their part by voicing how they can bring about positive change to help tackle the mental health crisis, driven in part by the pandemic.

Mental health council 1

Students’ Union, Vice President Ashanti said;

“The College has already created multiple platforms for students to access support and this Student Council meeting focused on us and we were able to focus our attention on how we can support our peers. For example, I had already trained up to become a Youth Health Champion and during this meeting I have developed ideas to strengthen ideas on raising awareness around challenging the stigma and discrimination that people are faced with”.  

Other support agencies such as Kooth, a free online support service for young people, took part in the conference and discussed the importance of looking after your mental health and encouraging students to shine a light on the importance of having conversations.

Mental health council 2

Welfare and Wellbeing Manager, Shiguftah Gulzar, said;

“We understand how important students’ mental health and wellbeing is and how concerns like stress and anxiety can have a significant impact upon their life and future goals. We have lots of resources available to assist our learners and are excited to work with key stakeholders to develop our provision and instils further aspiration and resilience of our learners to create their future.”

Waltham Forest College successfully launched an online Wellbeing Hub, which contains advice and tips for maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing.

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