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Security team receive award for super supportive work

Date 2.06.2020

The University’s Security Team has been awarded an Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO) certificate of excellence, as part of the Security initiative of the year award 2020.

Whether you’re a student, member of staff, visiting the campus, or living around our campus, you’re likely to meet our Security Team, which has spent the last year developing skills in supporting people struggling with their mental health.

The 40 members of the team, which is on campus 24/7, have become qualified Mental Health First Aiders. Meaning that anyone from the University community can access mental health support, on a first aid basis, whenever they need it, and are also given help to access the ongoing support they need.

Speaking about the certificate of excellence for the team, Laura McSherry, Security and Community Safety Manager said: “I am delighted the team members have been recognised for the dedication and commitment they display daily. The Security team is uniquely placed within the University community to help people when they’re most in need of it, recognising the subtler signs across the university community

“Supporting people to be proactive about seeking mental health support will help people who need it, but just as importantly these open and frequent conversations about good mental health will help break the taboo around discussing mental health and encourage others to be more open when then need support.

“The Chief Executive of AUCSO stated that he found our citation emotional to read and was very thankful to the entire team for the care and support given to our students.

“I would also like to add my thanks to the team for the outstanding work and support they provide to the University community.”

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an international awareness and skills programme. First Aiders learn how to spot the signs and symptoms of a range of mental health issues. They are then taught how to provide help on a first aid basis and guide the person towards the support services.

Anthony Webb, Security Officer at the University, who has recently completed the MHFA training, said: “University life is a wonderful experience, but it does test people’s resilience.  You can easily see that at the key points in the academic year – early on if people are getting homesick, and when its assignment time and the pressure is on.

“This Mental Health First Aider training has helped me to recognise the subtler signs in students, staff and the wider university community, that people might be struggling with their mental health. I feel confident now, to have a conversation with someone think might be struggling; listen to them and offer them some support at the time, then help them to get more long-term, specialist, support from the University if they feel they need it.”