Ayrshire College starts positive mental health conversation
Ayrshire College hosted the first in a series of six conversation cafes for students recently, with the focus being on building positive mental health.
The College’s Mental Health week was the foundation for a number of new initiatives across campuses. Health and Social Care Lecturer Michael Steel introduced the idea of a ‘conversation cafe’ to support students interested in or affected by mental health issues.
Michael said “The concept behind the events is to focus on resources to support positive mental health rather than focusing on mental illness. ‘Building strength and hope through conversations’ became the tagline and after excellent collaborative working by staff across the College, the first conversation took place on the Ayr Campus this week.”
Brian Costello, Founder and Director of HeadStrong, an organisation which specialises in helping people make extraordinary changes to their lives, opened the conversation. Brian’s work has been featured on TV, radio and in numerous publications internationally. Topics discussed on the night ranged from the influence of friends and family, to social media and bullying.
The run up to Christmas can be especially tough and stress can appear even more difficult to cope with than before. Anxiety and stress can appear to worsen, and the weather can impact your mood.
Hugh Dykes, Ayrshire College’s Mental Health Liaison Officer, said “the conversation cafes are a fantastic opportunity for us to provide students and staff with information about looking after their mental health, looking at coping strategies and generally providing support”.
Feedback from the 60 participants was overwhelmingly positive with refreshments kindly donated by Tesco and the Student Association.
The next event will take place on 19 December and all staff and students are welcome.
11 December 2018