The University’s Salford Advantage Fund (SAF) raises funds from our donor community to support vital initiatives across campus. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the increasing demand for mental health and wellbeing support for students across the globe, and we were proud to support the Provision of Dedicated Resources To Support Student Mental Health and Wellbeing project in 2021, to improve the assets available to our students.
The Provision of Dedicated Resources To Support Student Mental Health and Wellbeing initiative was led by Neil Withnell, Associate Dean for Academic Student Experience, and we caught up with them to find out more.
What did you achieve through the project?
The project was designed to further support and promote the University of Salford’s Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Action Plan (2020-2023).
The team put on a wellbeing event, providing water bottles with a QR code to enable students to interact with the University’s Strategy and Action Plan and fresh fruit. We also worked with START Inspiring Minds, and put on a fantastic session that was well attended, again promoting mental health and wellbeing.
Were there any highlights?
A particular highlight was working with START Inspiring Minds, a local, mental health charity which resulted in a “chalk to talk” event on campus.
How has the project enhanced the student experience?
Awareness of the University’s Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Action Plan will, undoubtedly, enhance the student experience, provide support, and enable students to focus on their studies in a supported environment.
Did you encounter any challenges?
The pandemic has impacted some of the plans we had, limiting the number of students on campus; but, overall, the project has delivered its key priorities and continues to do so.
What are the future plans for the project?
The purchase of a good supply of water bottles will enable further events to take place, so awareness and dissemination will continue through the promotion of messages now we are seeing more students on campus.
A few words for the donors …
A large-scale study of over 37,500 students into the prevalence of student mental illness within UK Universities by The Insight Network in 2018 highlighted that more than one-fifth of students have a current mental health diagnosis – click here to read the University Student Mental Health Survey 2018. The support and generosity of the donors enables the University to continue to address this issue, so a huge thanks from the project team.
To learn more about the ways you can support innovative projects like Provision of Dedicated Resources To Support Student Mental Health and Wellbeing through the Salford Advantage Fund, visit Giving To Salford.