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Resource Bank

UoN Case Study: Mental Health Awareness Training

By UniversityofNottingham 31 Jan 2022

Given the prevalence of mental health difficulties amongst students, we wanted to make sure that key staff and student group teams knew what action they could take if they thought a peer needed mental health support.

We didn't want students and staff to be specialists in mental health – we merely wanted to increase their understanding to support students appropriately. 

What did we do?

The Senior Mental Health and Wellbeing Coordinator and the International Student Health Improvement Officer developed and delivered a two-part virtual training programme to staff and student groups. This is a resource that can be used for staff and student development beyond the scope of the Globally MindEd Project.

Training Content

The training content was specifically to raise awareness – not to provide in-depth clinical training. Within the training, we discussed the international student experience and mental health support needs.

These sessions were delivered to:

  • International student HealthyU Ambassadors
  • Nightline Student Volunteers
  • Res X staff and student teams
  • Student’s Union Welcome Committee

Part One:

This session aimed to enable participants to understand mental health and how to support a peer who is experiencing mental health difficulties. 

Training activities included: 

  • Defining mental health
  • Learning about mental health facts and figures
  • Demonstrating, through a case study and video, how mental health wellbeing is affected by circumstances and events and can change throughout life
  • How mental health can be managed to improve mental wellbeing even with a mental health diagnosis
  • Using scenarios to consider relevant signposting.

Importantly individual boundaries were discussed to ensure trainees would be mindful of their own care and support needs.

By the end of the session, participants were able to: 

  • Explain what is meant by the term mental health
  • Recognise the signs that someone is experiencing a mental health difficulty
  • Understand what actions can be taken to support someone experiencing mental health difficulties
  • Signpost to relevant services

Part Two:

The second session built on the knowledge gained in part one and aimed to provide an opportunity for staff and students to increase their understanding of the main mental health conditions that affect students.

  • Using case studies and information briefs participants gained increased awareness of:
  • Some common mental health conditions, such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Eating Disorders
  • Common signs and symptoms of different mental health conditions
  • Where to signpost or what action to take in a crisis

These sessions were beneficial in supporting staff and students understanding of mental health and how this can impact the international student experience. 

For more information on how we further supported the well-being of international students here at the University of Nottingham, click here.