Bridgend College makes commitment to support students and staff with their mental health and wellbeing

Bridgend College has reaffirmed their commitment to staff and students by signing up to a brand new national mental health and wellbeing charter – created by the Association of Colleges in conjunction with mental health experts.

The 11-point document includes commitments to:

  • Promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma
  • Providing appropriate mental health training for staff
  • Providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate

Every year, 1 in 10 young people experience a mental health problem and 1 in 5 young people aged 16-24 experience a common mental illness such as anxiety or depression at any one time. Add to these facts, 75% of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experience their first symptoms before the age of 24 means that Bridgend College plays a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its students and staff.

The mental health charter encourages colleges to commit to:

  • Having a wellbeing and mental health policy accompanied by a clear implementation action plan which is monitored regularly and reviewed annually.
  • Creating an open and inclusive college ethos which includes respect for those with mental health issues.
  • Promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma through curriculum teaching and also by promoting wellbeing through tutorial programmes.
  • Providing appropriate mental health training for staff.
  • Ensuring a consistent and positive approach to staff wellbeing.

Simon Pirotte, Principal at Bridgend College, said:

“At Bridgend College, we’re delighted to sign the Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter and we’re also delighted to be a part of the Mind Wellbeing Index, having achieved the Silver Award this year. But we haven’t finished yet, there’s so much more for us to do as an organisation to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all our students and staff.”

Following on from last year’s Bronze award at Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index Awards, the College are proud to have received a Silver award this year. The Silver award is given to employers who have made demonstrable achievements in promoting staff mental health, demonstrating progress and impact over time, showing that the College have really stepped up its focus on wellbeing in the workplace.

Richard Caulfield, Mental Health lead at the Association of Colleges, said:

“Every single day colleges like Bridgend College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. This includes providing support for both staff and student wellbeing at the right time, in the right place. This charter gives colleges the chance to publicly state their commitment to the mental health agenda.”

L-R – Assistant Principal, Joe Baldwin, Student Wellbeing and Safeguarding Manager, Samantha Gunnarsson, Principal and CEO, Simon Pirotte, Deputy Principal, Viv Buckley and Vice Principal, Andrew Gibbs.