“The teachers at ArtsEd are really caring and are always able to spot if we’re having a bad day. They’re always there for a chat – they’re like our family”
– ArtsEd Student
Student Welfare is a top priority at ArtsEd. We strive to create a happy, inclusive community which is supported by excellent pastoral care and a focus on physical health. Alongside a successful mentoring scheme with ArtsEd Alumni, and regular wellbeing presentations and workshops, we offer a range of support networks to cover all of our students’ needs.
Many problems can be solved through talking to friends or family, to your Year Head, to the Health and Wellbeing Officer, or other tutors. However, at times you may need to seek help away from your familiar day-to-day environment. If you need counselling or CBT, we can refer you for free live therapy through Togetherall, an online mental health service. Sessions are delivered via zoom at a time to suit you – live therapy is available 7am to 11pm seven days a week. Normally you would be offered a maximum of six sessions, but this may be extended in exceptional circumstances. We can also refer you for a range of other therapies including counselling, hypnotherapy and life coaching, depending on the kind of support you need.
If longer-term therapy or specialist help is needed, referrals can be made via your GP to agencies within the community, or to services within the NHS. We can also provide information and advice about how to find a private counsellor or therapist. Our Wellbeing Freshers pack has lots of useful tips and resources, as well as links to external support services.
Togetherall gives all ArtsEd students and staff free access to a 24/7 online global community wherever you are. It provides a safe space online to share your thoughts and to access resources and courses to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing.
On Togetherall, you are totally anonymous to other members in the community, and your personal information is kept secure while you are on the site. ArtsEd will not be informed if you’ve signed up to Togetherall or know of your activity unless moderators at Togetherall are seriously concerned about your immediate safety.
Most members report feeling better and more able to cope with their workloads as a result of using the service and nearly 90% use Togetherall outside of 9-5pm.
Many of our staff are Mental Health First Aiders, trained to be a first point of contact for students who are experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress, having initial conversations with them and supporting them to get appropriate help.
Student Wellbeing reps are elected each year to promote awareness of mental health issues and organise regular events and fundraising activities.
Mindfulness and Yoga are part of the curriculum, providing students with regular opportunities to develop their own strategies for managing their wellbeing.
Our dedicated Health & Wellbeing Officer, Benjamin Ensall, provides support and guidance for students’ mental and physical health, offering bespoke exercise and nutritional advice, as well as discussions around mental wellbeing. Benjamin also offers Mental Health First Aid training to staff, ensuring there are plenty of people to talk to if you need support.
“When you face difficult feelings, don’t suppress them, instead open up and embrace the support that is offered. It really will help you to rediscover your happiness.”
– Benjamin Ensall, Health & Wellbeing Officer
In addition to our Wellbeing Officer, each Head of Year is responsible for the pastoral care of their student cohort. At weekly tutorial meetings, record forms are completed on which students keep track of their emotional welfare, as well as report any injuries or illnesses. These forms are monitored by the Head of Year, who can quickly step in to support any student who may be struggling.
Our Disability Coordinator oversees specific learning difficulty (SpLD) provision, and further support is provided by Heads of Year, supporting students with initial diagnostics and pastoral care, alongside weekly on-site group and 1-2-1 sessions with a freelance specialist SpLD learning support tutor. These sessions help SpLD students to develop confidence and autonomy in registering, retaining and recalling their learning.