As a BSc Psychology student, Nancy McDonald had been involved in wellbeing, and she loved her time at the University so much, she decided to stay and continue her passion as a Student Wellbeing Assistant.
What does wellbeing mean for you? Why is it important for students?
Wellbeing is about taking care of your physical and mental health and the entire person. I think for students it’s essential, because it’s so easy to forget and set aside things because you’re so focussed on your learning.
How does the University support student wellbeing?
The University has a ‘six ways to wellbeing’ framework which is six ways to encourage everyone to take care of themselves. It incorporates being active, connecting with others, taking notice of yourself and your surroundings, and things like that. It focuses on small ways to keep on top of your emotional stability and your wellbeing so that you can cope with the ups and downs of life.
It’s not dramatic big changes, it’s more about small ways to help you through the day or a difficult task.
Did you take advantage of the wellbeing offer while at University?
I studied Psychology so I was aware of wellbeing, but it did fall by the wayside for me as it does for lots of people. I was involved in the wellbeing champion scheme so I was aware of using wellbeing as a tool for myself and for others.
When I was a wellbeing champion, we held yoga afternoons on the grass outside and smoothie making competitions and stuff like that. When I did it there were only 40 people on the scheme and now there’s around 175 volunteers. It’s so amazing to see it grow because people aren’t afraid to talk about wellbeing.
What is a wellbeing champion?
The wellbeing champion role is a voluntary role that students can take part in, encouraging students to promote the fun and proactive side of wellbeing. There’s no one better than the students themselves to promote the programme.
What made you stay on and work at the University after graduating?
The role was available and wellbeing is such an important thing for me, and having been a student, I really wanted to be a part of the wellbeing programme and make other students aware that it’s important to look after yourself from day one and not wait until it goes wrong.