LUU should provide learning opportunities for committees that empowers members to access wellbeing services across LUU and the University

Passed: March 2021 (18th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

The specific problem is that committee members of clubs and socs at Leeds University Union have little guidance on how to approach sensitive issues to do with students' mental health and wellbeing. As such, our students feel ill-equipped to deal with some of the challenging aspects of a committee role on a club or society. These problems are heightened around themes of members' wellbeing when committees have to navigate the boundaries of their role whilst also wanting to help their members who appear vulnerable.

We live in a society where the taboo of mental health, mental disorders and wellbeing are being dismantled day by day by the power of conversations. This will continue to be positive for our society. These conversations will naturally occur in young people, online and in person, and even under the influence of substances. When these conversations inevitably happen we want our committee members to be prepared to confidently identify the services available to them at Leeds.


From our research we have found that the following areas are key concerns for committees when understanding their role:


  • Welfare; what we are and aren’t allowed to do.

  • What is expected of us, resources to hand out students, what to do if we get someone who is in serious need of help, the kind of resources the uni has, who to contact for access to disability services etc.

  • Recognising mental health issues within members and how to effectively help them if they come to a committee member.


A further root of the problem is that our members do not engage with the current training on the Love to Learn platform. This is because the material is generic and focused on workplace templates for an office lifestyle.This could not be further from the student experience! This is impersonal to our members and has no relevance to the challenging scenarios our committees may find themselves in.


The root problem is then exacerbated by the implications of Covid-19. For example, we currently have less members in Leeds, students are bound to online activities which are naturally less engaging. As a whole we are currently managing the risk of student isolation which as we move forward out of this pandemic is going to cause a fallout of wellbeing impacts. By introducing this wellbeing component to committees at the start of the year we can be proactive about the problems students may disclose to the Activities Team and Help and Support.

Additional information can be found in this document:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1smve8VnlFxH_AzlPaM2EKkysSEpERcBLhRvFlJuFeUA/edit?usp=sharing

Expires: March 2024 (18th)

Submitted By: Lucy Murphy & Sophia Hartley

Officer: Activities / Welfare

Area of Work: Societies

Updates

July 2021: A Project Delivery Group was put together for this policy in March. Since then, the Group collected feedback from students in focus groups and through a survey about the project. This has been a success and has led to the implementation of a new committee training structure by the Activities Team. The Help and Support Team will also be delivering further training on wellbeing, mental health and how committees can access support.

March 2021: New Policy