I’m Jess and I’m your vice president welfare and community at LBSU. As part of my role, mental health is a key priority. As part of my plans for the year, I am working with the university on developing a new mental health and wellbeing framework, which aims to create an improved strategic approach to mental healthcare provision. This work has been largely influenced by the research that was led by the student’s union, and our findings have played a key role in ensuring the university takes a pro-active stance on tackling the root causes of mental health issues.
This year, I am prioritising campaigning to get more counsellors on campus, including lobbying for the implementation of counselling that is dedicated to supporting the needs of liberation groups. Within this, I aim to ensure that the university has a diverse range of resources available for self-help to reach students off-campus. I am also working with external organisations to implement peer support networks, which will empower students to talk more openly about their experiences.
At the SU, our organisational priority for the year is mental health and to embed improving student-wellbeing into the core of our work across the union. This includes hosting more pop-up events throughout the year, such as Hive talks and panels, hosting yoga classes in our spaces, and bringing more of our mental health charity partners in to host events in order to help embed a culture of openness and support on campus. As part of this, we aim to make our StressLess campaign bigger and better, striving to provide creative opportunites to relieve students of stress at key points during the year, including the provision of free classes in our on-campus gyms.
Mental health exists on a spectrum, and no two people’s experiences are the same. The pressures of university life affect each of us differently and it’s okay not to be okay. If you are ever struggling, please reach out to our services and we can signpost you to the relevant areas of support. Be kind to yourself when you need it most. Your mental health does not define you, and at the Students Union we are always here to lend a listening ear.