StudentNews_VincentStarAwards

Applied Psychology student is awarded Mental Health & Wellbeing Champion of the year at STAR Awards

Thu, 13 May 2021 18:19:00 BST
(Pictured above) Vincent Waters and GCU Students' Association Star Awards winners logo
(Pictured above) Vincent Waters and GCU Students' Association Star Awards winners logo

A GCU student has been given recognition for the work he has carried out for over two years as The Students’ Association’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Officer.

Final year Applied Psychology student Vincent Walters was crowned Mental Health & Wellbeing Champion at GCU Student’s Association annual STAR Awards – with 16 winners declared on a night of celebrating student success.

Surprised by the nomination, Vincent explained how he was originally supposed to be on the judging panel for this event; “I don’t know who nominated me. I have a bit of a guess as to who it was but whoever did it knows I’m not a big fan of getting an applause for things.”

He added; “The first I heard of it when I got an email from Sarah at The Students’ Association saying it was a bit of a tricky one because you’ve been nominated for this but also you were meant to be on the judging panel.”

Vincent reflected on his time in this role and how he has supported students at Glasgow Caledonian University.

He said; “For two and a half years now, I’ve been Mental Health and Wellbeing Officer. We do things to both help students directly, and also things that promote mental health corporately.

We’ve held awareness raising sessions and released surveys to get people talking about their own mental health - as well as to find out how aware students are of the support services available to them within the university.

We also try to offer different support for different conditions.

Anxiety and depression are two of the main mental health issues students may suffer from but there are so many other conditions out there – so many people are suffering from distress but don’t have a diagnosed condition.”

The past year has obviously provided many obstacles for student groups to physically meet up and socialise - so Vincent explained ways in which he has helped support students virtually during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said; “What we’ve had this year are ‘Common Room Conversations’ sort of like a fire-side chat.

It’s essentially a zoom meeting where anyone can come along and just have a gab.

When hosted our first one back in October one of the things I really noticed was the new students telling us how great the sessions were because they haven’t had the chance to do anything social at uni for obvious reasons.”

When asked about some of the highlights of being involved in this support sector of the university, Vincent highlighted that it’s the small wins that make a big difference.

He said; "The thing I enjoy about this role is the small things... it's at the end of one of our events when a student tells you they are really glad they came or thanks me, that really tuns my day around.

You can make an impact on policy and decisions that get made at a strategic level but it's the one-to-one stuff... when you get to talk to and meet and just be with other students.”

If you need support, have a look at The University’s dedicated wellbeing pages to discover self-help resources, advice and contact details for a team that can help.


By Rebecca Meechan

Got a story you’d like to share? Get in touch at studentcomms@gcu.ac.uk