AoC Mental Health and Wellbeing Award - New College Swindon Case Study

New College is committed to promoting positive mental health and wellbeing and embedding this ethos into all aspects of college life.

The wellbeing initiative - established in 2012 - provides an exclusive service with a designated space and mentors on hand to act as advocates for students with identified poor mental health. Creating this service has allowed students with poor mental health a level playing field to thrive in the college environment.

Achievement and retention data has shown in the previous academic year, the retention of students who disclosed a wellbeing need was 96.2%, and the achievement rate was 84.6%, only 0.6% below the college average. These figures were paramount in the continuing development of this provision at New College to vulnerable learners.

Wellbeing have established a collaborative approach to support the wider college population. This includes working with personal tutors to deliver sessions on mental health, a wellbeing week with external services showcasing support available and counsellors running daily drop in sessions alongside 1:1 appointments.

Learner feedback summarises why mental health support at New College is vital:

“Psychiatric wards kept me alive, therapy taught me how to cope and college showed me how to love my life.”