Students lobby the Council for improvements in mental health

Students lobby the Council for improvements in mental health

Students have taken their views to Stockport Council after conducting research that showed more than half of learners had suffered mental health problems during the pandemic.

The survey conducted by Health and Social Care student Esha Mumtaz quizzed 48 students about their mental health, amid reports many were finding the third lockdown the toughest yet.

Esha, who was awarded national Young Student of the Year by the Association of Colleges this year, made several recommendations to the Children and Families Scrutiny Committee.

· Mental health services be advertised more frequently

· More Community Support groups

· More opportunities for young people to get involved in the local area.

Fellow learner Mollieann Jeacott, who studies GCSEs at Stockport College, also presented the findings of her investigation into mental health services for disabled people, after recently sharing her blog on public perceptions of young people with autism with the College community. She called for:

· Quicker responses in supporting disabled people with mental health issues

· More support for people over the age of 16 with disabilities who need help with their mental health

· More accessible presentation of information about these services online

In addition to allocating a pastoral tutor in addition to a course lecturer for every student, Stockport College also has a Mental Health and Wellbeing Champions group, which has designed an online timetable of mood-boosting activities for both students and staff, consisting of activities such as mindfulness, Zumba, baking, art and film & book discussions.

Esha said: “My course has helped me a lot to learn about physical, emotional and intellectual health of a person and ways to improve them. I used my course knowledge to design the survey whilst following the safeguarding and confidentiality policy.

“My course has also made me more empathetic and aware of the society. It encourages me to participate more in such events and activities which will help me to make a difference in the community.”

Mollieann said: “I learned that just two people talking on an issue can result in a positive change for many; I learned that no matter how scary stuff may seem, the rewards are always worth it, being a voice towards positive changes for others is an amazing feeling.

“I think young people speaking to councillors is important because they need our views on what would help us, especially when their decisions affect us. We deserve to have our input heard on issues and decisions that target us.”

To watch the full recording of the Children and Families Scrutiny Committee visit Stockport Council's website: https://stockport.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/559773/start_time/249000