Welcome to the 73rd episode of the Diverse Minds Podcast, and on today’s episode, I talk about mental health in universities and the impact it has on both staff and students alike.
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About My Guest
Andrew is a freelance strategist and consultant specialising in students’ unions.
He joined his student newspaper in 2004 and has been involved in SUs ever since. By 2018 he was a member of the senior management team at Imperial College Union, looking after a range of student-facing teams and services.
He took the leap into freelancing in 2019, setting up SU Skills – his strategy & training agency for SUs. As well as consulting work, SU Skills helps other freelancers create courses and training packages, increasing their reach and income.
Andrew’s goal is to help SUs become effective forces for change, with students at the heart of everything they do.
In today’s show, we talk about Preventing a Mental-ill health factory:
- About Andrew’s passion for student engagement. [02:59]
- Why he uses the term mental ill-health factory. [08:20]
- What universities should be doing to create genuinely mentally healthy systems that benefit staff and students alike. [13:28]
- All about SU Skills, how they work with student unions and the courses available on the site. [17:56]
- How Andrew looks after his mental health as a CEO. [24:44]
Quotes on preventing a mental-ill health factory:
- I don’t think there’s a single staff member of any university who’s actively trying to make students lives worse.
- When I say it’s a mental illness factory, I’m not just talking about students, but staff too,
- Quite often, returning students, because they’ve had a very stressful first year, pass that on to the cohort below them.
- I’ve met so many academics and so many students who basically wear “my subject is so hard” as a badge of pride, stating how difficult it is to learn their material. But it’s not the complexity of the material. It’s the way it’s presented.
- SU Skills is my idea of helping more consultants and freelancers reach more unions in the limited amount of time that we all have.
- SU Skills website
- SU Skills on Youtube, Twitter and Instagram
- Why Puppy Rooms are Not the Answer to supporting stressed students
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