The Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) Society supports student well-being at BCU through a peer support scheme and MHFA volunteering.
Eleanor Niblock, a Psychology student and MHFA ambassador, explains, “The MHFA Society is for anyone who is interested in this issue, is struggling with their mental health or knows someone who is. MHFAs are a first point of contact when you are not quite feeling yourself, you need a chat, or you do not know where to go or how to ask for help. We are very proud of how far this has come since its launch in 2019, and have recently elected two new lead coordinators, myself and Sarah Burton, and two assistant coordinators, Joanne Lloyd and Charlotte Campbell.
“Due to universities closing nationwide, we have taken our peer and wellbeing support services online, connecting with service users virtually rather than face-to-face. Ordinarily, we run regular events in the Curzon Atrium to help raise awareness and fundraise to finance further events, as well as providing extra funding for our MHFA Society.
“Currently, we hold weekly ‘Virtual Tea and Natter’ sessions every Monday via Zoom for a cuppa and a chat with whoever wishes to join. We promote this the day before on our social media platforms.
“Additionally, we have weekly Instagram takeovers including Mindful Mondays, Journal Jotting, Thoughtful Thursdays and Factual Fridays. We found that these are simple coping strategies that may help students while they’re at home, and see from our personal experiences that even as MHFAs we have habits to help us manage keeping healthy – physically and mentally.
“We have moved our appointments online to Calendly for video calls or phone calls and we continually update our social media with supportive resources from organisations such as the Mental Health Foundation and MHFA England.
Over the next few months, the MHFAs want to expand across all campuses at BCU with more volunteers.
Ellie adds, “We always welcome new volunteers who have an interest in mental wellbeing, and these volunteering hours can be used for your Graduate+ Awards.
“Essentially our aim is to be a large support network of students that are well-known across BCU and not just in the BLSS faculty.”
This is one of many ways in which the Faculty and University support you during your time studying with us. Find out more about our support services in the Faculty.