Mental health and wellbeing initiatives launched at Bournemouth & Poole College

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Students are benefitting from a Wellbeing Wagon, all-day drop-in sessions, welfare and mental health coaches and a sensory room at the Bournemouth & Poole College.

The student welfare team at the College has introduced a number of new initiatives at both the North Road in Poole and the Lansdowne in Bournemouth sites. These include a Wellbeing Wagon, which is brought out at lunchtimes to deliver colouring books, aromatherapy oils, fidget toys and modelling materials for the students to aid mindfulness and promote stress-busting. The aim is also to encourage students to talk to the College’s trained staff about the problems they may be facing.

A new all-day drop-in session is also available for students at both sites of the College, where they can speak confidentially to counsellors, student support mentors, mental health and welfare coaches through self-referral or via their tutors. A post box has also been placed in the reception areas for students to write on the provided postcards as an alternative way to make an initial request for support.

Debbie Smith, Director of Student Experience and Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead at Bournemouth & Poole College, said: “At both sites of the College, we offer an all-day drop-in session where students can visit us and seek support. The drop-ins are also supported by external organisations such as Dorset Sexual Health Care and Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre on a monthly basis so that students can access specialist agency support. We want to ensure that every student can be given the guidance they need to reach their full potential during their studies. ”

Bournemouth & Poole College now has a dedicated sensory room, which has been designed and resourced by the learning support and special educational needs (SEN) team as a result of student and parent feedback. The space features sensory equipment which can be used by students who have anxiety, an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) or learning disabilities. The temperature, light, sound and touch can be regulated by the individual learner to benefit their specific needs.

Lois Knight, Learning Support Manager and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, said: “We have installed a sensory room to ensure all students are able to cope with the learning environment. This is a fantastic step forward for the College and it demonstrates our commitment to meeting the needs of a wide range of learners. We hope it enables them to learn the skills that will ensure they leave the College as more confident and competent individuals.”

Bournemouth & Poole College will be holding its own College Mental Health Awareness Week from 15 to 19 October. Students and staff will be encouraged to talk about their mental health with trained professionals, as well as learning techniques to improve and promote their own wellbeing.

For more information go to thecollege.co.uk or call 01202 205205.