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920 learners gain Mental Health Awareness

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week all learners aged between 16 and 19 currently studying at Eastleigh College were offered an extra fully-funded short course to raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental health difficulties. Over 920 learners took part.

The NCFE ‘Level 1 Award in Mental Health Awareness’ is a nationally recognised qualification. It was delivered as part of a college-wide tutorial programme organised by April Inglis, Kickstart Lecturer, Eastleigh College. April designed and created all of the resources, which tutors delivered in their tutorial sessions. After an internal assessment of the students’ completed workbooks, a process of examination by NCFE led to the awards being made.

Feedback from learners and staff was very positive

Spencer Nicholson suggests the subject is vital and should be taught in school: ‘Having the MH qualification is very useful as it helps give us an understanding into our mental health and into other people’s mental health. It will also be useful to help with engaging with those who are struggling.'

Tom Chippendale said: ‘The qualification was an enlightening subject to attempt to gain a better understanding on especially as a neurodivergent, it really caught my interest and helped me put myself into the work, I'm very proud to have got it now.’

‘It was extremely helpful and it has made me think and gain the courage to speak up and ask for some help. Also it is beneficial due to getting a better understanding for when others are having a bad day.’ Sinead

‘ was helpful in showing us how important mental health is.’ Oliver Noyce

Tracey McAdam, MBE, Designated Safeguarding Lead at Eastleigh College, is pleased with the number of male learners who engaged and progressed with the programme, commenting that “…these learners are traditionally less likely to talk about mental health so it’s very positive that we have so many learners who feel more informed and able to potentially support the mental health of their friends or colleagues’ mental health if required.”

Mental Health Awareness matters

The college’s mental health awareness programme has helped all learners to develop the soft skills valued by employers and it is relevant to all the college's technical and professional study areas. It complements a wide range of courses including: beauty, catering & hospitality, dental nursing, early years childcare, hairdressing, healthcare, social care and public services.

The course designed by April is exclusively for students enrolled onto full-time programmes at Eastleigh College. However, anyone working within the voluntary and community sector whose role calls for interaction with the general public in their day-to-day work could find the NCFE Level 1 qualification useful. Courses leading to this qualification are available from several training providers, including an online self-study version from EC Online (with funding subject to eligibility).

Visit the Eastleigh College online Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub for details of how the college is implementing its Mental Health Action plan.

[PHOTO CAPTIONS: Students enrolled on the full-time Eastleigh College Kickstart preparatory programme were among the 920 learners college-wide who achieved the NCFE ‘Level 1 Award in Mental Health Awareness ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021]