Lia and Louis are joined by Bright World Director of Safeguarding & Operations, Jenny Rumble, and Local Coordinator, Sarah Bozier, to discuss how Bright World is supporting their students upon their less than normal return to school, particularly in terms of their mental health and wellbeing.
The physical health of our overseas students has certainly been under the spotlight recently but what about their mental health? Here's how we, as guardians, have supported them so far as they make the less than ordinary transition back into education.
As schools and students adapt to a new way of teaching this year, guardianship has had to adapt also.
At this time of year, our Local Coordinators would normally have just finished visiting all their students upon arrival in the UK. This year, however, things have been very different.
Instead of meeting with students in person, our Buddies have been conducting "virtual visits" by skype and zoom. Arrival Care visits have such a positive effect on issues such as homesickness and wellbeing. These check-ins are vital for safeguarding and so we have been thrilled to hear that students have been reacting so positively, despite them taking place virtually this year, as our Local Coordinator Sarah Bozier explains.
In some cases, such as when a student is struggling with their mental health, our Local Coordinators are able to make a personal visit to school, providing they abide by Covid safety guidelines. Even with a mask a friendly face goes a long way.
Launched in August 2019, Bright World's Mental Health Initiative addresses the need for students to have a team of trained and supportive people at Bright World who they can access at any time. This initiative is not designed to replace professional mental health treatment or counselling, but rather to ensure that our staff are confident and capable of recognising and supporting students in crisis, whilst also being able to signpost them to the appropriate services when necessary.
As part of this initiative, selected members of the Head Office and Local Coordinator team are set to become qualified Bright World "Mental Health Champions". Some of these Local Coordinators will also be "Safe Place" hosts, in order to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students, away from school. These individuals will all receive training so that they are best placed to care for any students experiencing severe issues.
Hello Yellow is a campaign run by YoungMinds - an organisation which aims to support young people and their mental health. Hello Yellow is a fundraising event that is taking place this Friday, 9th October, and this is to coincide with World Mental Health Day. The idea is for schools and offices to encourage everyone to wear something yellow in order to raise funds and awareness for young people’s mental health. Bright World head office will be all be donning bright yellow on Friday and having a meet up on zoom to support this great cause. Some useful resources from the charity will also be sent to all of our guardianship students.
As well as sending all of our students' resources from YoungMinds, we will also be sending students them our very own Stay Safe film. This short film aims to ensure the safety of our students in a both a physical and mental capacity, during this pandemic. It not only features tips and best practices on how to stay Covid-free, but also aims to help them stay in a positive headspace. Students will be reminded of the rules and regulations in effect in the UK, so they can continue to behave responsibly and keep themselves and those around them safe. The video should also help them to feel reassured by the extra measures that Bright World has put in place.
You can view our Stay Safe film below.
If you require any support or guidance concerning your mental health, or you know somebody else who does, please visit the Young Minds website via the button below. Here you will find lots of useful advice and resources, and can receive instant support from a specialist, if required.