An astonishing 93 per cent of students at Cambridge Regional College say they are happy to ask for support with mental health. At a time when more young people than ever are experiencing mental health challenges and external services are buckling under the pressure, the college has embedded a range of forward-thinking initiatives to ensure that its students are willing to ask for help and know where to turn.
The college launched an online hub to provide 24/7 support for all students, including those such as apprentices, who may find it harder to access support services during work hours. Vulnerable learners are invited to lunchtime sessions, which focus on building their resilience and promote the importance of peer-on-peer support.
Cambridge Regional College has also worked with local and national organisations to supplement the support offered internally, and introduced a dedicated lead to train staff as mental health champions to raise awareness throughout the college.
Awards winners: Skills Training UK wins at the Tes FE Awards 2020
A mental wellbeing panel was introduced, which includes a range of college staff, who discuss and identify appropriate interventions for students with the greatest need.
The judges said that the online support being offered to students was really powerful – and was reaching learners who would otherwise have slipped through the cracks.
“Good mental health provision isn’t always about making appointment times faster and taking on more staff,” they added. “Cambridge Regional College has shown that there are other methods of supporting students and has made the most of technology to do so.”
Fife College was highly commended in this category.