‘Mental Health Matters’ Project Benefits Students at FVC

Mental Health Project Benefits Health and Care Students at Forth Valley College

Funding from the NHS has seen a ‘Mental Health Matters’ project become a huge success at Forth Valley College.

In partnership with Falkirk and District Association for Mental Health (FDAMH), the project was awarded a grant of £10,290 from NHS Forth Valley’s Endowment Fund, to create and deliver workshops to promote mental health in areas that affect students, ranging from stress to dealing with grief and loss. The project focused on students from seven Care and Health Care courses at levels 6 and 7, both at the College’s Alloa and Stirling campuses. The success of the initiative is expected to lead to a roll out to similar courses at the Falkirk campus.

A total of 31 students benefited from the workshops – both personally in relation to their own mental health – but also from a professional point of view as they will be able to use the experience to benefit the clients and patients they work with through their careers.

Jane Muir, FVC’s Curriculum Manager for Care and Health, said: “I would like to thank NHS Forth Valley and NHS Charities Together for this funding, as it came at the right time to support students who are undertaking courses in Health and Social Care. An understanding of how to maintain and promote good mental health is a vital element in studying and working in the Care services. The learning taken from these workshops will assist our Forth Valley College students to become more resilient and self-aware as health and social care professionals.

Martin Murray, FVC’s Mental Health Co-ordinator, said: “This represents a good example of joint venture between the College, FDAMH and NHS Forth Valley; which helps destigmatise and promote understanding of mental health. As pressures grow in society, so too does the propensity to develop an adverse reaction and mental ill health. This opportunity allows those going into the field to have a better understanding of the issues, impacts and treatment afforded. Having worked in the area for many decades, I appreciate the opportunity afforded to the students into his regard by the grant,”

Julie Law, Senior Training Facilitator with FDAMH, who delivered the workshops at FVC, said: “We have worked in partnership with Forth Valley College for many years. With this funding applied for by the College, FDAMH’s role was to supply a number of sessions to students covering the topics of: Managing Anxiety, Building Resilience, Promoting Better Sleep and Understanding Loss and Change.

“FDAMH hopes that the students now feel more confident in seeking help and support for their own continuing wellbeing and have gained skills and knowledge in understanding and managing their own emotional responses. We also hope that they will take some of these skills and knowledge into their working environment and be more confident in recognising and supporting mental health and wellbeing in their future clients.”

Craig Holden, NHS Forth Valley’s Fundraising Manager, said: “We were delighted to be able to support a wide range of projects across Forth Valley through the additional funding provided by NHS Charities Together.

“It’s great to hear how successful these workshops have been in addressing common mental health issues and supporting the health and wellbeing supporting of our future heath and care workforce.”

 Pauline Jackson, FVC’s Development and Fundraising Manager, said “We are grateful for the funding awarded from NHS Charities Together, via NHS Forth Valley as it has enabled a partnership project with FDAMH to be developed. The work of this project has benefitted not only students at Forth Valley College, but the wider community promoting understanding and awareness of mental health.”