This May, we gathered a diverse group of students, mental health experts, and higher education professionals in the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London to review and discuss our plans for the upcoming Being Well, Living Well student wellbeing toolkit.
On the first day, keynote speeches by the Lead Advisors, Dr Dominique Thompson (UK) and Associate Professor Nicola Reavley (Australia), set the tone for the two-day workshop. Both Lead Advisors explored the global context of mental health, the changing needs of students, and the importance of developing mental health literacy.
Inspired by the keynote speeches, and with our sights set on the common aim of creating a wellbeing toolkit that truly meets the needs of today’s students, we began discussing the content maps created by the programme authors. We spent the majority of the two-day workshop on this task; there were a number of key themes and eighteen modules to discuss, ranging from personal safety to essential study skills and stress management.
The discussions across the two days were insightful, in-depth, and nuanced, and we benefited from hearing the perspectives of our student reviewers, as well as professionals from both UK and Australian institutions. The entire group’s passion for advancing student wellbeing was evident, with conversations carrying well into the evening, at our workshop dinner.
A key theme to emerge over the two days was inclusivity, and how best to incorporate this into the toolkit, so that that the resource feels relevant to diverse student groups, such as care givers and indigenous students. We look forward to including a range of experiences and student voices in the final toolkit, highlighting that there is no single “student experience”.
The next step in the project is reviewing the workshop notes, giving feedback to authors, and beginning the writing phase of the toolkit. This will be followed by a rigorous review by the development group, with publication of the toolkit in May 2020.
We look forward to sharing more news about the Being Well, Living Well project as it progresses!
“It was fantastic to have such an enthusiastic group of people helping to shape our wellbeing toolkit, including development group members, lead advisors, authors, reviewers, students and Epigeum staff! The workshop is a pivotal moment in our development process, and to hear all these different voices reaching a consensus on the issues was very reassuring. I am looking forward to the continued collaboration with the whole team, but in particular I am excited to be working with our inspiring student reviewers to ensure that the toolkit is engaging and authentic.”
Naomi Wilkinson, Senior Commissioning Editor