The UK version of the Being Well, Living Well online toolkit has just published, and will provide students with guidance and resources for coping with, and preventing, a range of wellbeing challenges throughout their university journey
Epigeum, part of Oxford University Press, has published a new online toolkit, Being Well, Living Well, which aims to support university students in positively managing their mental, physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing. Developed over a two-year period in collaboration with a panel of mental health experts, healthcare professionals, and university staff and students, Being Well, Living Well will support higher education institutions in taking a consistent, preventative approach to student wellbeing.
Epigeum’s Director, Andy Ware, comments: “Being Well, Living Well is a particularly timely programme, launching when the Covid-19 pandemic has led to more pressures and uncertainty for students than ever before, with a recent UCAS survey showing that “almost a quarter (23%) of respondents said that the outbreak has impacted on their mental health”. Being Well, Living Well has been developed using Epigeum’s highly collaborative development group process, involving up to 20 universities who provide design input and peer-review feedback. This enables our experienced team to build an online training course that is insightful, engaging and practical, and quality assured through a meticulous review process”.
Being Well, Living Well will enable institutions to provide an essential baseline of support for every student, from pre-arrival to postgraduate study. The toolkit features a wide range of interactive activities, bespoke animations, and realistic practice scenarios, as well as live polls and peer interviews, which help students to understand that they are not alone in experiencing challenges in their academic and personal lives. Regular signposting to further support aims to address the issue of under-reporting – a particular concern in the current environment, where students may be unable to access face-to-face support services.
The toolkit’s flexible, modular structure will enable students to access practical guidance anytime, anywhere, selecting content according to their unique needs and schedule, in an online “safe space”. As Dr Dominique Thompson, award-winning student wellness expert and Lead Advisor for Being Well, Living Well, explains: “For most students it is important to be able to access information in a variety of ways. An online approach allows for the maximum number of students to access expert advice and support, which could be vital to their short and long term emotional wellbeing at university. The Being Well, Living Well toolkit will allow universities to provide support and expert advice to their whole population, easily and consistently”.
Institutions will be able to provide access to the toolkit through their Virtual Learning Environment – allowing them to customise key elements of the resources with their own links and materials – or through Epigeum’s dedicated online platform. Highlighting the value of integrating the toolkit into existing wellbeing initiatives and services, Nightline Association, a Specialist Advisor for Being Well, Living Well, states: “We think this toolkit could be a fantastic part of the wider support package universities can offer, and that the flexibility and opportunities it offers could be part of wider learning possibilities”.