Student accommodation provider Campus Living Villages UK has won the Class of 2020 award for Outstanding Mental Wellbeing Initiative. The award, open to student accommodation providers from across Europe, is recognition of Campus Living Villages’ strong track record on supporting students with poor mental health.
Earlier this year, Campus Living Villages undertook research which revealed that more than 40% of students currently experience poor mental health. In light of these results, all the accommodation provider’s operational staff took part in mental health training. The company also created and developed ‘Picturing Mental Health’, a project which provides a snapshot of students’ experiences of poor mental health.
It was this project which won over both Campus Living Villages residents and the award judges. Picturing Mental Health is an artistic project involving students from the University of Bedfordshire and the University of Salford. The project asks students to record and share their personal mental health story, cutting through the noise of the usual posters and flyers advertising mental health services.
The pictures and stories from this year’s project were displayed on World Mental Health Day 2018 in Campus Living Villages accommodation up and down the country, reaching more than 12,000 students.
Rebecca O’Hare, Head of Residence Life, at Campus Living Villages commented:
“Winning this award is great recognition of all the hard work everyone from Campus Living Villages has put in over the last few years. Through providing training to our staff and hosting round tables, we have been able to highlight the levels of poor mental health among students and work with other organisations to come up with more ideas to help students access the support they need. The Picturing Mental Health project is just one initiative which has encouraged those who experience poor mental health to seek help and talk to someone. It has given visibility to what is often described as a hidden experience.
“However, we know our job is far from done and we know there are others who need our help and support. Next year, we plan to share the project with even more students, in the hope that it will encourage them to seek help and understand that they don’t need to suffer in silence.”