If elected Wellbeing Officer my main goal is to safeguard the academic results of every student from problems of wellbeing. Physical, social, mental health or financial problems should not be a factor that hinders students from achieving. Academic stability can be secured easily in a few simple steps. Raising awareness, promoting, and informing the student body of all the services that are available is paramount. Many students are unaware of the plethora of support systems available to them in times of need; it can often be too late when they find out. Making these services more visible, and subsequently more accessible will not only help students who are looking for help, it will kick start the fight against the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. Similarly, I think more needs to be done to help students identify when they are struggling. Without knowing the facts, many students can feel they obliged to tackle their problems alone- this is not the case. Informing students of the seriousness of these issues and raising awareness of the fact they do not have to suffer alone is vital. Students with problems should never feel ashamed to apply for mitigating circumstances.
One in four students suffer mental illness. This is a large and under represented section of the student body. To help combat this I want to implement a student mental health forum, bringing together students who are suffering or have suffered mental health illness in the past. This would be formed around the suggestions and ideas of students, as it is them who I am representing. The idea of meeting both in person, and in an online forum (with the option of anonymity) would appeal to a wider number. The limits that this could be extended to are huge and I feel it is something extremely important.
Diet and exercise are two often-disregarded aspects of life that contribute significantly to wellbeing. Continuing to develop the recent work that has already been done on these within the union is necessary. The goal is to have nutritional meals available to all students in and around campus, including catered student halls.
The foundations for many these things have been put in place by the current wellbeing officer. A large part of taking on the role will be to continue to develop this work. I am genuinely passionate about the welfare of students, at the University of Manchester and beyond. Vote for me and I will do my very best to assure your health, happiness and academic success.
We need to eliminate the stigma and misunderstanding around issues of mental health. We cannot and should not lose brilliant students because they have not been able to access the help they require.