Edinburgh College and Edinburgh College Students’ Association (ECSA) have joined together to sign a Student Mental Health Agreement Plan aimed at improving student wellbeing across the College.
What the agreement plan is?
The agreement plan is an initiative led by Think Positive on behalf of NUS Scotland to bring student associations and their institutions together in a formal agreement to work jointly on mental health issues on campus. The project Think Positive is funded by the Scottish Government and has an overall aim to improve student wellbeing and tackle the stigma surrounding mental health. Last year was the first year that Edinburgh College Students’ Association took part in this initiative, so this year they are expanding on the work completed and are also working towards new objectives.
Who was involved?
Vice President Welfare Officer Beth Anderson has taken a lead on this work for the students’ association. NUS provide a set of working areas for the project, allowing Beth to choose the most relevant areas to be addressing within the College to support students. The first steps that had to be taken before launching the agreement plan were that Beth had to assess what was already in place to support students with their wellbeing within the college and identify what gaps needed to be filled. This involved discussions with students, hearing their views of what aims would be taken forward, as well as consulting the student wellbeing working group for their thoughts. The work on this agreement plan, links directly with the work ECSA is doing towards achieving the Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Award.
What it means for students?
The overall aim of the initiative is to put measures in place so that students are supported with their own wellbeing. It’s a project that students can also grab the opportunity to get involved in and assist the Students’ Association with implementing the objectives set within the agreement plan.
Principal Audrey Cumberford said: “I’m delighted to have signed this Student Mental Health Agreement plan alongside our Students’ Association. It is imperative that the College works in tandem with our association, ECSA, and other associations and colleges across the country to ensure that all students have access to mental health support and that they feel comfortable enough to ask for help when they need it.
“The College will now look forward to working even more closely with ECSA, NUS Scotland and, most importantly, students to look at how we can build on mental health support for students and improve their overall experience at the College.”