The Student Support Team from Regent College London attended the Student Services Staff Network meeting and the Student Welfare Workshop which was held on Thursday, 3rd of October, 2019 at the Office for Students (OfS). Many important issues were discussed including student mental health and wellbeing strategies across the HE sector. Mrs Jess Trahar, Head of Student Welfare and Safeguarding at OfS shared with the participants the updates on some of the policies and procedures including safeguarding students from harassment.
At the Student Welfare workshop Tanya Tanna, Student Support and Well-being Manager presented a new initiative for Regent College London – the mental health support project, Mind Connect. She informed participants that in September 2019 the unique Mind Connect project was launched at all five campuses of Regent College London.
Mind Connect is a unique mobile application developed by Regent College London in collaboration with Enlighten an educational company that provides mental health support resources. Students will have immediate access to bespoke, mental health support information and helplines, which they can access whenever they need in times of difficulties.
The Mind Connect access code is printed on the back of the students’ ID Cards. B scanning it via their mobile phones students will be able to test their stress level and get instant professional advice regarding their emotional well-being. Students can learn how to manage money issues and get practical advice on how to cope up with stress. They will have instant access to emergency numbers and helpful links to mental health support services in the UK as well as contact details of the Regent College London Student Support Team.
Although mental illness is no different to a physical illness many people still feel embarrassed or ashamed to be struggling and this prevents them asking for help. Providing an augmented reality portal on the back of student cards to trigger helpful information, ensures students can get the assistance they need at any time without having to speak to anyone else if they don’t want to. This is especially beneficial when accessing mental health support “out of hours” by delivering information in a new and exciting way, Mind Connect automatically engages more students. Language barriers are overcome and different learning styles are catered for as the relevant information is provided in bite size “chunks” of digital media.
Within two weeks of launching the application, Mind connect was used by 303 students at Regent College with an average of 10 hours spent online.
Mind Connect has created lots of interest among the participants and was named as one of the most successful approaches towards enhancing mental health support provision in HE sector.