Campus Living Villages brings network of partners together to improve approach to mental wellbeing

September 12, 2018
United Kingdom

Following a suggestion at our inaugural mental health roundtable in February, we convened a Mental Health Symposium at the University of Bristol in July. We invited our partners, students and a number of experts working in student mental health to come together to understand what more we can do as a sector.

This was the first event of its kind that Campus Living Villages had organised and we were delighted to be joined by a number of our partners, students and experts in the field including:

Gareth Hughes – University of Derby’s Research Lead for Student Wellbeing
Gedminte Mikulenaite – University UK’s Mental Health Policy Lead
Mark Ames and Simon Bray – University of Bristol’s Director of Student Services and Director of Residential and Hospitality Services respectively
Dr Julieta Galante – NIHR Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge

The theme was to bring our collective knowledge together to consider tangible solutions and we thank everyone for their positive engagement on the day. Whilst we discovered that there are no silver bullets, there is passion and desire to make change and by working together, we can make a difference.

Campus Living Villages is committed to working to make that difference. We are all too aware of the ongoing concern around student mental wellbeing and that as a business, and a sector, there is still more to do. We are always clear that we are student accommodation experts and not mental health practitioners. However, we know we have a role to play in signposting and improving mental wellbeing and we want to do that well – the Symposium was one of the steps in working closer with our partners and experts in order to achieve that.

That will always be our first aim at Campus Living Villages: to continue working with our partners and the wider sector to deliver a better student experience.

Nadine Lee, University Partnerships Director said: “Given the many ideas that came out of the Symposium, it is clear that the sector isn’t short of inspiration on how we can pull together and draw on each other’s knowledge and experience to identify small-scale solutions which can bring better outcomes for students.

“We learned a lot at the Symposium but the most striking realisation was that it does not always need to be about the big gestures that make a difference,” Nadine continued. “Small changes in design, lighting or a friendly face can make a big impact. To help drive our agenda forward, we are delighted to announce that we have formed our Mental Wellbeing Strategic Group that will drive a whole business approach to improving mental health and wellbeing.”

As well as thanking all those who attended on the day, we would like to say special thanks to Mollie, Beth, Olivia, Grace and Shanice, the five students who joined us. Their courage to talk about their experiences of mental health and their motivation to make things better for their peers is inspirational. Thank you.

Click here to read the full write up of the symposium and visit here to check out a short video about the event.

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