Five Ways to Wellbeing at Hughes Hall on World Mental Health Day.
It is important to us that all our students excel in their studies, and can do this with a smile, while feeling comfortable and well supported by people who want you to thrive. Here at Hughes Hall, we place a great value on our welfare provision and have recently appointed a new Head of Student Wellbeing and Welfare, Ben Marshall, and a new College Nurse, Debbie Ellis. See our page on College Nurse, counselling, and welfare support for details of how to contact them.
This week saw World Mental Health Day marked by the University of Cambridge with the launch of their new Reach Out Campaign to help students find mental health support.
Ben gives his top five tips for staying happy at Hughes.
1. Keep Learning. Expanding access to education has been important to the Hughes community from the beginning – we were initially set up to support women to access education at a time when this was not commonplace. Our library team are central to the education we offer: as well as providing academic support, they can assist with finding written resources on mental health, to ensure that every member of our community can engage with knowledge effectively, including those with lived experience of mental health challenges.
2. Stay Active. Physical activity can have a similar effect to medication or talking therapies. For many people experiencing challenges with their mental health it is important to find a way of staying active that suits you. We have a number of sports teams but we are also planning to run initiatives like informal ‘walk and talks’ on a number of wellbeing topics with guest experts. If you would like guidance on what physical activity might be right for you, you can always approach our college nurse Debbie for friendly, non-judgmental input.
3. Connect. Our College is designed to bring together people from varied backgrounds. We have a varied social program ranging from formal halls to parent and child activities. Many of our experienced members of staff act as mentors for new members and our MCR has a similar buddying ‘family’ scheme.
4. Take Notice. In an intensive academic environment it can be easy to fall into worrying about the past and the future. We will soon be offering accessible meditation sessions to help our community gain perspective and manage any less-helpful thoughts. If you find yourself worrying on a regular basis, our wellbeing team are happy to help you take practical steps to address this with individual support plans.
5. Give. Giving helps us to see that our own wellbeing is linked to that of others, and this mental health day we want to finish by asking you what else could you give (whether time, resources or simply being there) either within our community, our society or simply to your own mental health (because every mind matters and proper self-care is not self-ish!).