This Mental Health Awareness Week, Richmond upon Thames College has reaffirmed their commitment to staff and students by signing up to a brand new national mental health and wellbeing charter - created by the Association of Colleges in conjunction with mental health experts.
The 11-point document includes commitments to:
- Promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma
- Providing appropriate mental health training for staff
- Providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate
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, 75% of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experience their first symptoms before the age of 24 means Richmond upon Thames College plays a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its students and staff.
Sharon Cousins, Assistant Principal – Student Experience at Richmond upon Thames College said:
“Every student and staff member deserves to work, study and train in an environment that supports them to be healthy, happy and secure. That is why I am proud to sign the AoC Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter on behalf of Richmond upon Thames College.
“We take our commitment seriously and whilst we have a great track record, we are always keen to do more. This charter provides a clear direction of travel that our students and staff can hold us to account as we continue to work together to support their health and wellbeing whilst they are at Richmond upon Thames College”
Richard Caulfield, Mental Health lead at the Association of Colleges, said:
“Every single day colleges like Richmond upon Thames College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. This includes providing support for both staff and student wellbeing at the right time, in the right place.
“Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that go on and our charter gives colleges the chance to publicly state their commitment to the mental health agenda.”
Luciana Berger MP, said:
“We know that young people in our country are facing a mental health crisis. We also know that our teaching workforce is experiencing endemic levels of stress and mental ill health.
The measures set out in this charter will help promote early intervention for those struggling with their mental health. We know that a supportive environment and being able to stay in meaningful education, training or work is one thing that can promote recovery.
I would encourage colleges across the country to sign up to the charter and send their students and staff a clear message that if they are struggling with their mental health, support is available.”
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week coincides with the #LoveOurColleges campaign’s ‘week of action’, which sees colleges across the country hosting events to showcase the brilliant stuff they do, day in and day out.
If you are a student at Richmond upon Thames College and you feel like you need mental health or wellbeing support, please visit the Advice Hub in C15. Find out more here.