College Mental Health Team commended at AoC Beacon Awards

25th November 2021

Solihull College & University Centre has officially been named as a ‘Commended College’ in the AoC Beacon Awards this year.

The College’s mental health team, consisting of Fathima Ashraff-Ali (Mental Health Lead) and Blair Sweeney (Mental Health Support Worker), applied for The NOCN Group Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing as part of the Awards and were successful in their application.

All applications were reviewed within their individual award category by a highly experienced team of independent assessors and moderated by the Chief assessor.

Assessors have recommended those applications that should be commended for their practice in each of the award categories, having demonstrated a high level of innovation, impact and sustainability.

Fathima Ashraff-Ali and Blair Sweeney
Fathima Ashraff-Ali and Blair Sweeney

Following the lockdown in March 2020, the College’s mental health team collected data about the uptake of mental health support and each student’s ability to access the service remotely. Based on the collection of data from staff and students, adaptations were made to the service and included allowing students to use a variety of mechanisms to engage with the mental health team, including face-to-face meetings, online calls, text-based conversations and telephone calls depending on their individual needs.

In addition, an online mental health assessment toolkit was launched as a first port-of-call for students struggling with their mental health. This ensured students had immediate access to informative resources based on their personal mental health needs. The toolkit generates a report based on the student’s assessment scores which provides them with links to local mental health services.

“We are proud of the work we do in supporting the mental health needs of our students and to have been recognised for this by the AoC is a great achievement,” says Fathima Ashraff-Ali, Mental Health Lead at the College.

“We will continue to improve our support mechanisms to ensure accessibility for all students and help staff to develop the right skills to support their student’s mental health needs.”

Find out more about the AoC Beacon Awards: AoC Beacon Awards