Emmanuel staff and students spent the first week back at College celebrating Mental Health Week. The theme for 2020 is Strengthening Our Community – Live, Learn, Work, Play as we aim at increasing mental wellbeing.
To build a supportive community, we took a holistic look at mental health, sharing ideas, and learning from each other through every day activities.
Students learned about the importance of connecting with others, taking the time to stop and take notice, how giving to others can make them feel better and that an active lifestyle not only keeps their bodies healthy but also boosts their mental health.
On Thursday students were able to participate in a ‘Kitten De-Stress’ demonstrating how interacting with animals can decrease levels of cortisol (a stress related hormone) and boost mood. Students were able to sit and cuddle or play with the kittens from Cat Haven. Animals can have a very calming impact on humans and having a purring kitten sit in your lap is especially calming!
On Friday students were encouraged to take part in a Mindfulness class as well as a Meditation workshop to reduce stress, buffer against lowered mood, and improve resilience.
In 2020, we will continue to aim to boost mental wellbeing by:
• Encouraging each of us to support and look out for one another
• Promoting mental health literacy and self-care tips
• Raising awareness of mental health issues and reducing stigma associated with seeking support.
Mrs Fiona McAuliffe – Director of Wellbeing Services