Colleges support Mental Health Awareness Week with sport and physical activity events
Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week, and colleges helped support the week and its messages through a range of sport and physical activity events.
Amersham and Wycombe College
Amersham and Wycombe College utilised Mental Health Awareness Week to get students talking about mental health and physical activity. Across the week sessions took place with over 100 students from curriculum groups including Health and Social Care, IT, Media and ESOL. The groups were identified as having high numbers of students that had accessed support from the college’s achievement coaches, who support students with a variety of issues including those with mental health conditions.
The sessions started with some classroom activities to get students discussing mental health and to reduce the stigma attached to it. Students then participated in activities including yoga, table tennis and walking to help understand the benefits of physical activity on maintaining good mental health.
Katie Stapleton, College Sports Maker said “The Mental Health Awareness Week sessions this week have been an excellent way of engaging with students in a different way. It has been good to raise awareness about the fact that we all have mental health, whether it is good or bad, and that physical activity can be great way to help us improve this.
“Both students and staff have really benefitted from the open discussion and are now more keen to try sport or physical activity as a way of de-stressing and improving mental wellbeing. We will definitely be looking to run sessions again next year, potentially earlier in the year.”
East Berkshire College
East Berkshire College promoted Mental Health Awareness Week through tutorials and enrichment activities.
Tutors covered mental health and wellbeing within tutorials prior to Mental Health Awareness Week to educate students and bring an often taboo subject into discussion.
Through promoting the current enrichment program as well as opening the gym to students for free, the college saw over 140 students take part in some form of physical activity through the week.
Going forward East Berkshire College will be looking to work more with promoting and educating people on mental wellbeing as well as giving people with mental health issues the chance to get active.
The NewVic sport academy used Mental Health Awareness Week to get out and about in the college, promoting positive mental health and wellbeing by using sport and physical activity to reduce stress, especially during exam time.
The academy spoke to students, promoted their enrichment timetable and got some involved in skipping activities too.
Portsmouth College set up a number of table tennis areas outside in the college grounds during Mental Health Awareness Week, to give students the opportunity to take part in a social, informal activity.
Please let us know how your college got involved with Mental Health Awareness week or any other work you are doing around physical activity and mental health.