15th August 2017
South Devon College Students’ Union are delighted to have won the NUS Campaigns Award 2017 for raising awareness of mental health among students and staff.
For the past 8 years the NUS Awards have been celebrating the work carried out by Students’ Unions. The awards celebrate all Students’ Unions officers and staff from both further and higher education and highlight activities from campaigning and diversity to education and student opportunities.
With an identified increase in students disclosing mental health issues and accessing college support services, coupled with a decline in external support services, the campaign sought to raise awareness of mental health among students and staff, and encourage them to participate in discussions surrounding active mental health. The long term aim is to develop workshops and events for students to access support and advice on mental health in collaboration with the Lions Barber Collective. The campaign was initiated by the Colleges Lead University Student Rep, Kelsey Flynn.
The Lions Barber Collective was launched by local barber Tom Chapman and is an international collection of esteemed barbers coming together to raise awareness for the prevention of suicide. The collective are working to encourage open discussions about mental health through their BarberTalk mission, which aims to smash the taboo subject of mental health and suicide. Through partnering with The Lions Barber Collective the campaign highlighted some shocking local statistics surrounding mental health. After Cornwall, Torbay has the second highest rate of male suicide in the South West, and one of the highest rates of under 19s being admitted to A&E due to self-harm. Furthermore, 75% of people who take their lives are reported to have never engaged with mental health services.
Judges of the Campaigns Award said, “The campaign tackled a serious issue local to this rural area, potentially filling a gap in service provision for young people in the area. The efforts to make it a collaborative approach have proved impactful for students. Outstanding!”
Jon Hall – Higher Education Deputy Manager at UCSD said, “This campaign highlighted key issues that students are facing today, with the project being developed by students within the University Centre, it was able to directly engage students in discussions surrounding mental health. Having the support of the Lions Barber Collective on this campaign has provided that support and knowledge to get this campaign of the ground.”
For more information on the Lions Barber Collective visit: www.thelionsbarbercollective.com
For more information about University Centre South Devon come along to our Open Day on Friday 18th August 10.00am-4.00pm at University Centre South Devon, Long Road, Paignton, TQ4 7EJ. Visit our website to register your attendance.