University Mental Health Day 2021

This Thursday the 4th of March is University Mental Health Day!

University Mental Health Day is an annual campaign by Student Minds and the University Mental Health Advisers Network. The day aims to bring together our University Communities to make mental health a university-wide priority, and create ongoing change to the future of staff and student mental health.

This year we’re encouraging you to join us through a series of webinars and online activities which aim to enhance the wellbeing and provision of services to support our student and staff communities.

University Mental Health Day Activities

Click the drop down menu below to find further details about ongoing events at GCU for University Mental Health Day 2021. 

University Mental Health Day Activities

9am: GCU and GCU Students' Association: Launch of our Consultation Padlet 

At the end of this webpage you will find the information on how to participate in our consultation Padlet for what more we can do to support you at GCU. Please go to the drop down box for more information and visit our Consultation Padlet to feed in your ideas for how we can enhance support for your health and wellbeing at GCU! The Padlet can be found online.

Students can also participate in the Common Room Conversation on Mental Health and Wellbeing with GCU Students' Association on Monday the 8th of March. The Mental Health and Wellbeing Group's second Common Room Conversation is open to all current students and will be hosted by Vincent Waters, your Mental Health and Wellbeing Officer.  These sessions are run for students, by students as chance to come for an informal chat, to talk about the year and how it's going, what worries us and what we're hopeful about. Spaces are limited so please sign up using the "Book Now" button at the events webpage and you will be emailed the link to take part. 

Staff should also see our Enhancing the Support Available: A Conversation Café at 3pm. 

 

12-1pm Mindfulness Sessions for Staff and Students
Staff and Students are encouraged to participate in dedicated mindfulness sessions for University Mental Health Day.

Mindfulness courses are available to staff and students throughout the year, those who have an interest in engaging with these courses and provisions beyond UMHD should refer to the Student Wellbeing Webinars and Online events pages, or Staff Mental Health Resources pages to see the next upcoming session.

The links to sign up to the sessions are below:

Student Mindfulness Session Eventbrite
Staff Mindfulness Session Caledonian Connected

 

12pm Yoga and Core & Tone Classes with GCU's Arc: Health and Fitness

Join the Arc online through their Yoga, or the Core and Tone class at 12 on University Mental Health Day! The link for classes can be found at the Arc Facebook Page.

 

1-2pm Motivation and Overcoming Procrastination Session

Staff and Students are encouraged to join a session led by the Student Wellbeing Team on motivation and overcoming procrastination. The signup for the event can be found on Eventbrite.

 

1pm: Stretch Session with GCU's Arc: Health and Fitness

Join the Arc online for their Stretch Session on University Mental Health Day! The link for classes can be found at the Arc Facebook Page.

 

3-4pm Enhancing the Support Available: A Conversation Café [Staff]

Join the Mentally Healthy University Co-ordinator, Pete Copeland, and Project Officer for Student Mental Health, Rachel Simpson, to discuss current support provisions for GCU staff, and feed in your thoughts on ways in which this could be enhanced. 

Sign up at the Link at Caledonian Connected.

 

4-5pm Meditation Session

Staff and students can access a free guided meditation session by one of the University Chaplains, Sujata Sriram.  The sign up for the event can be found on Eventbrite.

 

4:30 - 5pm GCU Student Mindfulness Society: Book Club

If reading is more your thing, why not take some time out to join our Mindfulness Book Club hosted by our Mindfulness Society. Here you will find a comfortable environment to discuss your favourite Mindfulness lore as well as explore new reading material.

This Thursday we discuss renowned author Eckhart Tolle's 'The Power of Now' and it's messages, there are no expectations for you to have read any of the books discussed at Mindfulness book club. 

Join the session online on Zoom. 

 

5pm: Yoga with GCU's Arc: Health and Fitness

Join the Arc online for their Yoga class on University Mental Health Day! The link for classes can be found at the Arc Facebook Page.

 

7pm: Pilates with GCU's Arc: Health and Fitness

Join the Arc online for their Pilates class on University Mental Health Day! The link for classes can be found at the Arc Facebook Page.

 

United To Prevent Suicide Pledge at GCU

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‌GCU’s Student Wellbeing Advisory Group (SWAG) has approved the establishment of a task and finish working group to take forward the Student Mental Health Action Plan strand of work to develop a suicide prevention, intervention and postvention framework. In common with other UK HEIs, this is a priority development area for GCU and an important aspect of our overall approach to safeguarding the wellbeing of our students and staff. 

Alongside the establishment of a wider holistic action plan which strives to draw on our internal expertise, sector guidance and external resources to take forward the development of a GCU Framework which aligns to the UUK Suicide Safer University, GCU are encouraging all staff and students to sign the United to Prevent Suicide Pledge. United to Prevent Suicide is a social movement of people from all across Scotland, who are united in a shared belief that each and every one of us has a role to play in preventing suicide.

Sign the Pledge at the United to Prevent Suicide Webpages.

 

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If you feel in Crisis, or are Worried about Someone please see the webpages which are directed below:

GCU Mental Health Support

Learn more about the support provisions we offer students and staff below:

Student Support

At Glasgow Caledonian University and GCU Students' Association we are committed to supporting our students. Please find below some details of support resources available to GCU Students.

The Cameron Grant Memorial Trust have produced a resourcefor University Mental Health Day to enhance awareness of different ways you can improve your mental health and prioritise self-care. 

GCU Glasgow

GCU Student Wellbeing Team 

The Student Wellbeing team provides a free and confidential advice and support service. We offer a friendly face and a listening ear in a safe and non-judgemental environment. Our aim is to support you through your time at University and help you to achieve your academic success.

Our teams offer support for all aspects of mental health and wellbeing through a range of different services to help support our students. All the services noted below are accessible online for our students, including support through:

We also work with partners across the University and the sector to enhance wellbeing through strategic projects, including having developed a Student Mental Health Action Plan. 

An overview of the GCU Wellbeing Service provision can also be seen in a video produced with our Project Officer for Student Mental Health as part of GCU Student Life's Services Spotlight

We also provide contextualised and tailoured support for intersectional experiences. To find out more, please visit our Supporting Our Students webpage.

 

GCU Students' Association Advice Centre

The Advice Centre provides a free, non-judgemental and confidential service to all GCU students.

We represent and promote the interests of both individual students and the student body as a whole and we operate independently to the University.

The Advice Centre exists to help students obtain accurate information on all the services and rights to which they are entitled and to provide support, mediation, advocacy and representation where appropriate.

Find out more at the GCU Students' Association Advice Centre Webpages.

 

Togetherall

You can also access free online mental health support with Togetherall, a digital mental health support service, which is available 24/7. It is a safe place online to get things off your chest, have conversations, express yourself freely and openly, and learn how to manage your mental health. Professionally trained moderators monitor the community to ensure the safety of all members. It is totally anonymous, so no one will know you’ve chosen to use it, unless you tell them, and you choose an anonymous username for your time on the site.

 

Self-Help Resources

Our Self-Help Resources lists further resources to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing, including mindfulness techniques, breathing exercises for stress, and hints and tips to get a good night’s sleep. You can also access financial wellbeing, gender-based violence, bereavement support, and more. 

 

GCU London 

GCU London Student Wellbeing, Counselling and Disabilites

GCU London Student Wellbeing, Counselling and Disabilities service offers a range of options to support and enhance student wellbeing, including:

  • Confidential one-to one counselling
  • Wellbeing workshops and information
  • Self-help resources
  • Disability Support
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Events

The service is free of charge to all students at the university, including international students.

We also work with partners across the University and the sector to enhance our student and staff wellbeing through strategic projects, including a Student Wellbeing Advisory Group, and Student Mental Health Action Plan.

 

GCU London Students' Association Advice Centre

The Advice Centre at GCU London provides a free, non-judgemental and confidential service to all GCU students.

We represent and promote the interests of both individual students and the student body as a whole and we operate independently to the University.

The Advice Centre exists to help students obtain accurate information on all the services and rights to which they are entitled and to provide support, mediation, advocacy and representation where appropriate.

Find out more at the GCU London Students' Association Advice Centre Webpages.

 

Togetherall

You can also access free online mental health support with Togetherall, a digital mental health support service, which is available 24/7. It is a safe place online to get things off your chest, have conversations, express yourself freely and openly, and learn how to manage your mental health. Professionally trained moderators monitor the community to ensure the safety of all members. It is totally anonymous, so no one will know you’ve chosen to use it, unless you tell them, and you choose an anonymous username for your time on the site.

 

Self-Help Resources

GCU London also have tailoured Self-Help Resources which lists further local resources to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing.

 

GCU London Nightline

Nightline, which is a call, text and online chat support service for GCU London Students reopened on the 14th of September. The service is available from 6pm to 8am, and more information can be found at the Nightline Webpage.

Staff Support

Your health, wellbeing and happiness is of paramount importance to us. We will provide support where we can, to enable students and staff to achieve their optimal mental health in order to thrive in and outside the University.  We do this by promoting a positive environment to work and study, signposting to information and training available as well as guidance and practical tips on how to support yourself and others around you. 

The Mental Health and Wellbeing area on our staff intranet is a one-stop-shop for resources, guidance and training that will help to support your mental health. The site also provides guidance on how you might support your colleagues and students.

 

PAM Assist 

Our Employee Assistance Programme PAM Assist is a free and confidential counselling and support service. It is staffed by experienced and independent professional advisors who can talk to you about all kinds of work and personal issues, such as stress at work, bereavement, relationships and debt advice. Find out more and access PAM Assist. Staff can also call our Occupational Health provider PAM  to arrange a one off 20-minute confidential consultation.   

 

 

Togetherall 

You can also access free online mental health support with Togetherall, a digital mental health support service, which is available 24/7. It is a safe place online to get things off your chest, have conversations, express yourself freely and openly, and learn how to manage your mental health. Professionally trained moderators monitor the community to ensure the safety of all members. It is totally anonymous, so no one will know you’ve chosen to use it, unless you tell them, and you choose an anonymous username for your time on the site.

 

Coronavirus and Wellbeing

Our coronavirus wellbeing support page lists further resources to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing, including mindfulness techniques, breathing exercises for stress, and hints and tips to get a good night’s sleep. You can also access financial wellbeing, gender-based violence and bereavement support and tips on working at home, including a reminder of how to set up your home working environment. 

 

The Arc Classes

Do remember, the Arc streams free exercise classes every day to help you stay fit at home. Find out more on their Facebook page.

 

Mental Health Webinars

You can access free stress awareness online courses from the British Safety Council via the mental health and wellbeing intranet pages

Register your interest for the 'Mental Health: Start the Conversation' online course and the 'Stress Awareness' online session by emailing: Staffwellbeing@gcu.ac.uk

For additional support and guidance, visit the staff mental health and wellbeing intranet area.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Projects and Representation

Click on the drop down menus below to find out more about ongoing strategic projects at GCU for mental health and wellbeing, and the student mental health and wellbeing representation at GCU Students' Association.

Wellbeing Projects

Alongside structural support services (for example student counselling and staff counselling) GCU also undertake projects across our institution and with external partners to provide a series of campaigns, events, and further enhance strategic approaches to support our students and staff.

Projects which are occurring across the institution can be seen in more detail at our Wellbeing Projects Webpages with some examples being listed below. New proposal for projects, questions or feedback can be directed to the Project Officer for Student Mental Health.

Some examples of projects are:

  • Participanting in the pilot of the Student Minds University Mental Health Charter 
  • Participanting in national mental health and wellbeing research projects
  • Leading the QAA Collaborative Cluster on Inclusive Curriculum Design for Mental Health and Wellbeing for BAME and LGBT+ Communities 
  • GCU's Student Mental Health Agreement with GCU Students' Association
GCU's Here to Help Campaign

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This is a really tough time for everyone. At GCU, we’re here to help you.

The mental health and wellbeing of students in universities up and down the country, has been a growing concern in recent years and uncertainty, anxiety and thoughts of isolation have been made worse since the onset of COVID-19. We also know that many people don’t share how they’re feeling until they reach crisis point.

GCU have launched our Here to Help Campaign which looks at raising awareness of the support available for GCU students and staff, and challenging stigma around mental health. 

Mental Health and Wellbeing Research

GCU Student Wellbeing is looking to build a research community of people with an interest in student mental health and wellbeing.

We are particularly keen to hear from academic researchers, including Postgraduate research students, whose interests include topics such as: procrastination, stress, motivation, mindfulness etc.

We would love to share your work on our web pages where students with an interest in understanding their wellbeing could find examples of academic research from GCU.

What we are looking for is just a short description of your research and a link. For example:

GCU’s Dr Chris Hand, with colleagues from the University of the West of Scotland, found that full-time students were unable to maintain physical activity levels during lockdown, and that physical activity decline was linked to negative mood. The open-access paper is available here.

We’d also love to hear from anyone who would like to get involved in events throughout the year. In previous years, Post Graduate Research students from the Psychology Department have presented their research and delivered workshops as part of University Mental Health Day. Topics have included The Benefits of Physical Activity, Mindfulness, and Relaxation Techniques.

Please get in touch and we will add you to our Wellbeing Community and let you know about our upcoming events and opportunities.

GCU's Common Good Podcast: Wellbeing Episodes

Glasgow Caledonian University's podcasts showcase the very best of GCU's research and explains how it benefits people and communities locally, nationally and around the world. There have been a number of podcasts which are outlined below on health and wellbeing.

 

Mental Health and Wellbeing 

Can Mindfulness Help Us Deal with Lockdown? with Ben Parkinson

Ben Parkinson from the Department of Nursing and Community Health joins the latest episode of the Common Good Podcast to discuss how stroke survivors can benefit from mindfulness. Ben talks about how mindfulness helps the community deal with stress and anxiety and whether or not it can be used by families in lockdown.

 

Positive Mental Health and the Coronavirus with Dr Christopher Hand

Dr Christopher Hand, a lecturer in psychology, joins the Common Good Podcast (from a remote location) talk to talk about health and wellbeing in the time of the coronavirus. Speaking with Craig G Telfer, Dr Hand offers advice to people working and studying from home on ways to adjust to the new climate, as well as discussing ways to deal with any anxieties surrounding the disease.

 

The Dark Side of Social Media with Dr Chris Hand

Dr Christopher Hand returns to the Common Good Podcast to discuss a new study that examines the behaviour of Twitter users - and how a quarter of participants displayed psychopathic tendencies. Dr Hand talks in depth about his research, discussing why people behave in certain ways online, and explores what social-media companies can do to crackdown on abuse.

 

The Psychological Effects of Lockdown with Dr Christopher Hand

Dr Christopher Hand returns to the Common Good Podcast, four months after his last appearance, to look back over the lockdown period and examine the psychological effects it might have had on the British public. Dr Hand touches on the phenomenon of "online shaming", the knock-on effects of Dominic Cummings' trip to Durham, conspiracy theories and why some people are unwilling to wear masks in public.

 

The Gym of the Future with Kathleen Campbell

How will we physically distance in our gyms? Will we be able to exercise as normal? And can we still use the changing rooms? Kathleen Campbell, manager of the ARC at Glasgow Caledonian University, joins the Common Good Podcast to about the reopening of our gym and steps required to make sure it's safe for use. Kathleen also talks about online exercise classes and how to maintain a positive mindset during lockdown.

 

Keeping Active During Lockdown with Professor Sebastien Chastin

The latest episode of the Common Good Podcast stars Sebastien Chastin, a Professor of Health Behaviour Dynamics at Glasgow Caledonian University, who talks about the best ways to stay physically active in the current climate. Professor Chastin also talks about the best way to break sitting behaviours at work and the importance of getting a good night's sleep.

 

Mental Health Training at GCU

GCU is providing essential training to support the mental health and wellbeing of its students. With financial support from Santander Universities, GCU is working alongside the Students’ Association and SAMH (the Scottish Association of Mental Health) to train around 400 members of staff who work directly with students.

Dr Helen Gallagher, Assistant Vice-Principal of Health and Wellbeing, and Keir McKechnie of SAMH join the latest episode of the Common Good Podcast to discuss this important project.

 

Equality and Diversity

Celebrating Black History Month at GCU with Tabitha Nyariki

Tabitha Nyariki, the Vice-President for the School of Health and Life Sciences with the GCU Students' Association, joins the Common Good Podcast to talk about how the University has celebrated Black History month across October. Tabitha explains the origins of Black History Month and places it in context of the the Black Lives Matter movement and the killing of George Floyd, before discussing the table of events at GCU. She also discusses her role within the Students' Association.

 

Representation in Video Games with Dr Romana Ramzan

Dr Romana Ramzan joins the Common Good Podcast to talk about video games and how different religions and genders are represented within the medium. Dr Ramzan also talks about how she got into video games as a child, her experiences in industry and academia and her passion for encouraging young girls into pursuing video games as a career.

 

Alcohol and Gender?

The Relationship between Alcohol and Gender with Professor Carol Emslie

Professor Carol Emslie joins the second episode of The Common Good Podcast to discuss her research into the relationship between alcohol and gender. Speaking with Craig G Telfer, Professor Emslie examines the differences between men's and women's alcohol consumption, problem drinking within the older community, and how Glasgow Caledonian University's research has played a part in shaping Scottish Government policy.

 

Gender Based Violence

Understanding Stalking with Dr Katy Proctor

Dr Katy Proctor, a lecturer in criminology and policing at Glasgow Caledonian University, joins the Common Good Podcast to talk about her research into stalking. After interviewing 128 victims of stalking, she talks about their experiences including why people stalk, the different forms it can take and the lasting impact it has. Dr Proctor also discusses the police's attitude towards stalking and whether or not Scotland requires specialist taskforces to tackle the issue.

 

Violence Against Women with Dr Nancy Lombard

The first Common Good Podcast of 2020 stars Dr Nancy Lombard, a Reader in Sociology and Social Policy at Glasgow Caledonian University, to talk about her research into violence against women. She discusses her work with schoolchildren and their understanding of violence, as well as her study into the links between football and domestic abuse. Dr Lombard also talks about her son, Dylan, who lives with mandibular dysplasia, a rare condition that affects just 13 people worldwide.

GCU Students' Association Representation

GCU Students' Association have a representation group and officer for student mental health and wellbeing. The Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Group represents the general interests of student wellbeing and mental health and helps develop Students’ Association policy, and runs campaigns/events on Mental Health and Wellbeing.

You can find out more about the group at the GCU Students' Association Webpage.

You can email the Mental Health and Wellbeing Representation Officer, Vincent Waters, at mentalhealth@gcustudents.co.uk

The group also oversee a wider facebook group for mental health and wellbeing at GCU.

Consultation: Additional Mental Health Support

Alongside structural support services (for example student counselling and staff counselling) GCU and GCU Students' Association also undertake projects with external partners to provide a series of campaigns, events, and to further enhance our strategic approaches to supporting students and staff.

Please use the padlet below to provide feedback on what additional support GCU could provide you with throughout this academic year. If you have any additional comments or feedback, please submit this to Rachel Simpson (Project Officer for Student Mental Health).

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