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LSST hailed for mental health initiatives at AdvanceHE Teaching and Learning Conference 2022

Kunal Chan Mehta

By Kunal Chan Mehta | Article Date: 19 July 2022

LSST staff received widespread sector praise for their commitment to mental health awareness and wellbeing initiatives at this year’s AdvanceHE Teaching and Learning Conference 2022 and received extensive acclaim for its PACT mindfulness model and mental health champions initiative.

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Dr Wendy Wigley, LSST’s Head of Student Lifecycle and Partnerships Manager, and Stephanie Pena Garcia, LSST’s Student Engagement & Mental Health Wellbeing Officer, presented on a whole organisation approach to mental health at the AdvanceHE conference held at Northumbria University.  

Speaking on mental health awareness, Mr Ali Jafar, LSST’s Deputy CEO, said: ‘At LSST, the first step in mental health best practice is making a commitment to mental health. It is increasingly perceptible how important mental health and wellbeing are for student and staff success and I commend Dr Wendy Wigley and her team for their mental health lead at LSST.

Dr Wendy Wigley commented: ‘The conference focused on enhancing all aspects of teaching and learning to deliver an exceptional student experience at all levels of Higher Education taught provision. It seemed only right that sharing LSST’s success in supporting student mental health was shared with the sector.

Nationally and globally as we tentatively adjust to the ‘new normal’ post pandemic, it is essential that the mental health needs of students continues to be central in every aspect of their learning journey. At LSST the mental health and wellbeing of our student population remains the primary focus of the student lifecycle team.

Dr Wendy Wigley, LSST’s Head of Student Lifecycle and Partnerships Manager, presents on mental health awareness initiatives

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Dr Wendy Wigley also commented on mental health support services: ‘It was a pleasure to explore established and impactful examples from the sector and share good practice while reviewing possible challenges. This is why LSST collaborates and co-creates with students so that student mental health and wellbeing is grounded in all we do through our development and delivery.’

After the two-year pandemic hiatus, the HE sector is fast-developing ‘whole institution approaches’ to mental health and wellbeing to provide a holistic and positive experience, even during the most challenging of times.

The conference aimed to create a space for delegates to engage in creative thinking around teaching and learning towards continuous enhancement and innovation of the student experience 

Stephanie Pena Garcia, LSST’s Student Engagement & Mental Health Wellbeing Officer, added: ‘Following a long period of significant turmoil, and a rise in demand for mental health and wellbeing support, it is vital to share best practices and ask ourselves what direction student and staff mental health and wellbeing is going in.’ 

We all have a key part to play as Higher Education staff and we must take into account the student voice and their specific needs to tailor the support which we are offering. 

Dr Wendy Wigly (l) and Stephanie Pena Garcia (r) at Northumbria University where the conference was held

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If LSST students would like Mental Health support or advice please contact stephanie.garcia@lsst.ac 

If you require immediate Mental Health & Wellbeing support, please contact the NHS on 111 or visit www.nhs.uk/mental-health/get-urgent-help-for-mental-health/ 

Samaritans are available 24/7 for free on 116 123. 

Crisis Text Line are available 24/7, simply text SHOUT to 85258.

Contact kunal.mehta@lsst.ac for any comments or to learn more about the PACT model.

Further reading 

COVID-19 Lockdown: Consolidating a Student Mindfulness Model: https://www.lsst.ac/news/pact

Top 10 Tips for Mental Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic – A Student’s Guide: https://www.lsst.ac/blogs/mental-health-tips

How Students Can Think Positive During COVID–19: www.lsst.ac/blogs/positive_thinking/

How Students Can Confront COVID-19 Stress Whilst Studying From Home: www.lsst.ac/news/covid_19_stress_guide/

Mental Health in Higher Education and the Sector Challenges Ahead: www.lsst.ac/blogs/mental_health_in_he/



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