Keeping mental health and wellbeing top of the agenda

Supporting positive mental health and wellbeing of students and staff is always a number one priority for East Kilbride based South Lanarkshire College.

With students starting back at the college a few weeks ago, a large focus has been placed on positive mental health and wellbeing through Freshers and induction information. One such initiative that has been put in place is the introduction of free Smile Boxes for students.

The boxes, which contain a selection of branded and personalised products and mindfulness resources encourage self-care and positive mental health amongst students. The packs included items such as chocolate bars, a letter from the college Principal and Student Association, self-care products, a mental health survival guide booklet and much more.

The college is home to over 6,000 Students and has a strong reputation for prioritising mental health support for its students. A high level of support has been essential over the last year when students have had to get used to remote learning as a result of the Global Pandemic.

South Lanarkshire College Head of Student Services, Rose Harkness said “Coming to college can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also provide extra challenges and stress, which may affect student health and wellbeing. The College is absolutely committed to supporting individuals who are experiencing poor mental health and to remove the stigma by normalising conversations about mental health to encourage everyone to prioritise their emotional wellbeing.
I am delighted that we can offer Smile Boxes to students as they start or continue their learner journey with us. It is one of many initiatives in place to ensure that we continually support and foster positive mental health and wellbeing amongst our student population and is one that has been greatly received by students.”

Donna Fisher the Founder of Smile Box said, “We were delighted to be selected as a partner by SLC as we are passionate about student mental health. Awareness of all mental health is important, but adolescents particularly have a really tough time due to the pressures of social media, technology and the isolation experienced as a result of the Pandemic has compounded the situation recently. We’ve created a fully branded Smile Box for SLC which includes a selection of products that will allow students to prioritise self-care. I’ve also written a student’s mental health survival guide which is included in every Smile Box. This 12 page book offers practical advice and information for students and should be a great resource as they set out on their learning journey at SLC.”

Donna Fisher, adds, “To create this Smile Box for students was a real privilege and myself and the team really enjoyed working with SLC to put together a perfect package to offer a strong mental health support provision. We’re hoping to work with more schools, colleges and universities over the coming months so this was a great opportunity to test the water in the education sector.”