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Nursing students help people’s mental and physical wellbeing with Health Academy

Date 30.09.2021

The health and wellbeing of students, staff and members of the public are in a few more caring hands this year, with a new initiative from the Nursing team.

The Health Academy is a seven-week practice placement opportunity for Mental Health Nursing students at the University of Northampton (UON).

It’s a scheme to help them meet the required number of hours on clinical practice placement and deliver health promotion and wellbeing initiatives on a drop-in basis for fellow students, staff, and visitors or members of the community who are on campus.

The Academy is the brainchild of student Charlotte Kumi and Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing and Practice Development Iain Schrantz. The key themes of the Academy are:

  • Mental health & wellbeing
  • Lifestyle
  • Community and belonging

Activities and interventions the Health Academy team provide include relaxation and stress reduction sessions, resilience questionnaires, advice about good nutrition and exercise, physical health check-ups, and signposting to professional healthcare providers.

So successful has the Academy been, it will remain a permanent placement option for UON Nursing students with the next cohort due to start very soon.

Charlotte has been a busy bee over the past few weeks. Alongside her stint with the Academy, she has also delivered 42 ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ sessions, 61 relaxation sessions and 62 mindfulness activities for students and staff.

Reflecting on her placement idea Charlotte, who is in the second year of her degree and is pictured in the grey jumper, said: “The Health Academy only opened its ‘doors’ three weeks ago, but it has had quite an impact.

“The people we have been talking with really engage with the help and advice we provide. We asked some of them to make a mental health wellbeing pledge, so it was wonderful to see them do so there and then, starting on that road to better mental health right in front of us.

“Being part of the Health Academy has helped myself and the team in other ways. We have improved our communication skills and have built our confidence levels as the weeks have progressed.”

Find out more about nursing courses at the University of Northampton.