Candidate for the position of Health & Wellbeing Officer

Image for Hope Murray

Hope Murray

Healthy students should be happy students

I intend to work with the university to help improve the health and wellbeing of students.

I would look at the possibility of increasing availability of popular fitness classes based on demand. For example, many students have expressed to me about the legs, tummy and bums exercise class always being full (due to only being available once a week). Furthermore, I would look to increase the number of affordable health eating options available on campus as I feel that the current offering on campus is at times somewhat unhealthy and the healthy options that are available are prohibitively expensive to most student budgets.

However, I have observed that the university at times places too much of an emphasis on the physical health of students as opposed to mental health. Although, it is important to note this may be due to the university’s status as Scotland’s top university for sporting excellence. My goal is to increase awareness and the importance of mental health on campus to the extent that physical health receives.

From both personal and from peer feedback the services that are currently provided are not sufficient for the prevalence of mental issues amongst students and cannot cope with the overwhelming demand. Further evidence published in a University of Stirling report states that “66% percent of Stirling students have a mental health problem”, which is 5% higher than the other 13 universities surveyed in the report. (University of Stirling Court, 2018)   One of the many ways I would aim to rectify this would be to collaborate with the university about the possibility of the creation of a mental health support group running on campus. As there are currently long waiting times for support, potentially due to being understaffed. The creation of a support zone online in the form of a course on canvas with links to additional resources this would create a safe space for students to express their feelings.

An additional idea would be to create an improved well-being and chill out zone that is separate from the current space offered in the library.  I suspect that the current position of the zone is unappealing/unrelaxing due to its location in the library.  This could simply be relocated to a free classroom in a quiet corridor as this would also make the area more inclusive and accessible for all students.