Greater support for new students joining the university who may struggle with their mental health

by Sarah Fielding 15 February 2019, 10:43

Category: Academic Support

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Coming to University is an exciting, but often nerve wracking event in our lifes. A lot of students are moving away from home for the first time, dealing with a lot of change all at once and having to adapt to new situations. This is stressful for most people, but couple this with struggling mental health and the whole experience can be pretty hard to deal with. We already know that if your mental health isn't in a good place, then it is very difficult to get anything else done. Whilst you are at home, most people have a supportive network to rely on when times get hard, but moving area and starting university can leave students feeling like they don't have anyone to talk to. With the introduction of Rafiki in the Student Union, we are striving more and more to get students the support they deserve, with this service being a huge leap in the right direction. 


I would like a buddy system, in which students starting at Salford have the option to tell us if they feel they need some support, or if they have struggled with mental health previously. They would then be placed with a student at Salford who has volunteered to be a helping hand to those who may need it, ideally having been through similar things. We would swap contact details on behalf of them and they can help guide the student throughout the year, having been through the same experience. 

This would then encourage the first year students to volunteer and help the next years new students, creating a positive network of helping hands.

I would like this scheme to be run by the Students Union, working alongside the university to make the transition to university as smooth as possible. Volunteers could receive training, for example the same training the Rafiki volunteers received, which was ran by The Samaritans, but tailored more specifically to the scheme. 

This would be specifically for new students joining the university, but the volunteers could be from any of the years after first year.


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    Jon-Connor Lyons   wrote, 18-02-2019 - 15:58

    Really positive idea Sarah! I think this would help, it can be so difficult coming to University, you can feel so alone. Great stuff Sarah!

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