Looking after one another has never been more crucial. You may be feeling the pressures of working or studying whilst trying to maintain a positive balance at home. There may be anxieties over the pandemic as restrictions ease and concerns over vulnerable loved ones during this time. There may be sadness or anger over the social unrest in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Some of us may be faced with uncertainty over finances and changes in the economy and future job security.
With this in mind, we urge our students, along with our wider community to keep themselves informed of support opportunities available during this time.
Looking after your well-being
Creating a support network which empowers courageous conversations about things that matter to you and those you care about can be the first steps towards improving your mental health. By effectively managing and recognising our own well-being, we are fostering a culture, that nurtures a conscious support for all moving forward.
With this in mind, The College of Animal Welfare offers a range of information and support to staff and students to enable them to take care of their well-being.
Big White Wall
All of our staff and students access to free online mental health and well-being support through Big White Wall (BWW). This service can be used at any time of the day or night, all year round.
In addition to this, the College counsellors are still available via phone, email or video conference:
Jill Dighton Tel: 07925 852 985 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Walsh Tel: 07905 611 591 Email: email@example.com
The College also offers a Living Well section, which is an online resource available to all students via our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The area contains information and resources about mental well-being, eating well and getting active.
If you are concerned about a colleague or student, please contact a Safeguarding Officer on 01480 422070 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for advice. If you ever believe a person to be in imminent danger, you should call 999 immediately.
Further sources of help and support for those struggling with a mental health condition can be found below:
- Anxiety UK
- Bipolar UK
- CALM(Campaign Against Living Miserably – for men aged 15 to 35)
- No Panic(for sufferers of panic attacks and OCD)
- Papyrus(Young suicide prevention society)
- Rethink Mental Illness(support and advice for people living with mental illness)
- Samaritans(confidential support for people experiencing feeling of distress or despair)
- BEAT (Beating Eating Disorders)
Staying safe at home
Sadly, domestic abuse has been reported to have increased globally during lockdown, as many people are trapped in their homes with their abusers.
If you think you or someone you know may be in an abusive relationship, it’s important to remember that you are not responsible for your partner or family member’s behaviour. Nobody deserves to be treated this way, despite what the abusers may say, and nobody should feel they need to stay silent in fear of being hurt. There are many people who can offer support and help keep you and your loved ones safe. Be mindful of yourself and others who may be vulnerable during these times.
Safeguarding is at the forefront of the College’s mind at all time. Staff having less interactions with students during this time does not mean we aren’t here for safeguarding against domestic violence or any other safeguarding matters!
You can raise a confidential concern via the College’s website. Please visit the following link to find out more – https://www.caw.ac.uk/about-us/confidential-concerns/ or call the Safeguarding Officer on 01480 422070 or Email: email@example.com for advice. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger – call 999.
You don’t need to wait until you or others are in immediate danger or in an emergency situation to seek help. Further sources of help and support for those at risk can be found at:
- NHS – Domestic Violence
- Women’s Aid – Safety Plans
- Women’s Aid – The Safety Handbook
- Men’s Advice Line
With more of us turning to the internet to stay connected, the importance of staying safe online is more important than ever. There are lots of things you can do to keep safe online. Here are a few points for consideration.
Post with care
Once you post a comment or share a picture, even if you delete it, there is nothing to stop someone else taking screenshots or sharing it and using it against you in the future.
Keep your personal data personal
Check your privacy settings to ensure people cannot gain access to your personal information and keep the following personal details private:
- Full name, date of birth and password
- Address and phone number
- Bank details and the information on your bank card/passport
- Your schedule; live location, school/college/university/work and any other places you visit regularly
Watch out for phishing and scams
Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them information, like your password or personal details. If you receive emails asking you to log into a website, even if they look genuine, go to the app or official site directly.
Think about who you’re talking to
With so many means of networking now, it can leave you vulnerable to trusting people you have never met. Even if you feel you may have built up a friendship and trust someone you’ve met online, always be aware of the dangers and risks involved in meeting and sharing information with others online.
Keep your device secure
Ensure you are keeping your device secure. Use strong passwords and never share them with others, set up 2-step authentication where possible, keep apps and software up to date, be careful of sites you may be visiting and when using shared or public devises.
Cyber-bullying in any form is not tolerated at the College and students are encouraged to think very carefully about anything they communicate to others via social networking, text or email. Students should seek support from their Personal Tutor or a member of the Customer Advice Team (CAT) if they are unsure or have any concerns.
- The College of Animal Welfare’s free, online eSafety course.
- Should you stream it? Think before you broadcast!
- Livestreaming Top Tips from Young People
- How secure is my password?Password checker
- UK Safer Internet Centre
- Childline – Staying safe online
- Age UK – Staying safe online
- National Bullying Helpline – Cyberbullying
Equality for all, without exception
Equality effects everyone, nobody is exempt from considering their own and others diverse characteristics and respecting these in our daily lives. At the College we have always operated under a zero tolerance policy towards any form of discrimination and strongly oppose racism, intolerance and injustice.
Students finish their time with the College having gained a strong sense of what it means to be a good person and are free to use their voice, education and understanding to make the world a better place for everyone.
Start with yourself
It’s important to remember not everyone will share the same values and opinions. It is, however, our duty to ensure that we continue to educate ourselves and others around us. If we make mistakes, we must not justify or ignore them, but instead learn from them. Be open to learning more about any bias behaviours you may have and actively get to know other people – including their points of view.
Silence is not an option
Do not ignore discriminatory behaviour in others, even if you are close to them. Speaking up against discrimination when you see or experience it will raise awareness, educate people and challenge this behaviour. Not being racist is not enough. Being actively anti-racist is more beneficial for all, be bold in calling out injustices. Creating a supportive environment whether it be at college, at home or at work enables respect and tolerance by engaging in actively normalising conversations about race.
Support others and show solidarity
Support others who are experiencing discrimination and encourage them to take the appropriate action needed to improve their situation; this could be anything from taking records of discrimination, pushing forward with workplace/legal procedures or seeking advice where necessary. Stand together during difficult times.
Zero tolerance policy towards racial discrimination
If you feel you are being discriminated against on placement, at work, or in College; please contact us. The College has a zero tolerance policy towards any form of discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional. Incidents of discriminatory behaviour are a serious matter and will be dealt with appropriately.
- CAB – Racist and religious hate crimes
- Stop Hate
- Equality and Human Right Commission
- Stand Up Against Racism & Inequality
- The College of Animal Welfare’s Equality and Diversity Statement can be found here
- The College of Animal Welfare’s Equality and Diversity Policy can be found here.
Everyone is adapting to this rapidly changing situation. Becoming anxious over finances is a normal response to uncertainty.
Face your fears
If you are getting into debt, get advice on how to prioritise and manage your debts. You may feel unable to talk about finances with those who are close to you. You may lose self-confidence suffering in silence. Taking proactive steps towards getting your finances in order can ease the pressure and allow you to see a way forward.
There are a range of resources available for you to step towards gaining control over your finances and provide support if you are feeling the pressure.
- Step Change
- National Debtline
- uk – Worker Support
- Money Advice Service
- CAB – Debt and money
- Mind – Money and mental health
- NHS – Coping with financial stress
The College is here for its students and wider community. If you are being affected by any of the subjects mentioned in this post, please speak up. We are always striving for improvements and we welcome any feedback or suggestions from our community to help us move forwards, so if you have anything you wanted to share with us – please do get in touch!