Staff and students at Banbury and Bicester College taking part in activities for Mental Health Awareness Week

Staff and students at Banbury and Bicester College are taking part in a number of activities and initiatives as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from May 10 to 16.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 11:58 am
Staff and students at Banbury and Bicester College are taking part in a number of activities and initiatives as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from May 10 to 16. (Image from Activate Learning college group)

Staff and students at Banbury and Bicester College are taking part in a number of activities and initiatives as part of Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from May 10 to 16.

The Activate Learning college group takes student mental health extremely seriously, especially over the past year, which has seen many young people isolated and learning in a virtual capacity.

Now that restrictions are easing, and students are once more learning back on site at college, mental wellness is a particular focus and promoting awareness of this is a priority at each campus.

Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme for 2021 is ‘nature’. Students at Activate Learning colleges will be offered access to a range of resources and activities which reflect this. Activities offered include walk and talk sessions, fresh fruit and sunflower seed giveaways and mental health focused tutorial sessions for all students.

Activate Learning is also pleased to announce that each college campus is launching an Environmental Club giving students the opportunity to design and maintain a student garden or talk about how we can all make better choices around sustainability.

Green spaces have been allocated at each site and they are encouraging students who are keen to get their hands dirty to help create a calm environment to sit quietly, enjoy nature and enjoy their breaks.

The National Citizen Service (NCS) will also be present at all campuses during the week promoting and encouraging young people to get involved with their exciting summer youth programme.

Alongside the on-site activities, the college group have put together a wealth of online resources for use by students and staff, including blogs, videos, virtual art classes and trips, case studies, meditative workshops and online relaxation sessions that focus on managing anxious feelings and understanding how our body responds to stress – to name but a few.

Sally Dicketts, chief executive of Activate Learning, said: “We have always encouraged everyone at Activate Learning to talk openly about their mental health and recognise how important it is for people to feel comfortable to do this.

“The past year has been difficult for staff and students alike. Many of our learners will have experienced emotional, as well as social, isolation and so it’s important that we take the opportunity to use this week to reflect on how we have all managed these changes in our mental health, and ensure we always have those important, honest conversations to gain support and kindness from others.

“As part of the week-long campaign, we are providing a wide range of activities and resources for colleagues and students that I hope everyone engages and interacts with.”