SAE UK has partnered with Big White Wall to provide additional support to students regarding their mental health and wellbeing.
The service is a complementary tool that students can access alongside the pastoral care provided by the Student Experience team.
Students can access Big White Wall by signing up on www.bigwhitewall.com under ‘organisation’ with their SAE issued email address.
Big White Wall is an anonymized 24/7 online global community where students can receive peer support and guidance, moderated by trained mental health professionals, as well as access a wide range of self-resilience building courses. Students can access the service whenever they are struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or unable to cope.
Most members report feeling better and more able to cope with their workloads as a result of using the service and nearly 90% use Big White Wall outside of 9.00 - 5.00 pm.
Dr. Tim Rogers, Clinical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist, said: “As Clinical Director at Big White Wall, I’m delighted to be providing a service to SAE Institute. It is a privilege to be one of the mental health support resources available to their students. We know that SAE Institute is a home for creatives and we understand the challenges that they can sometimes face. This may not only be because of lifestyle or occupational factors, but also because creative people can experience events differently or more deeply than some other people. This is not only a part of their artistic craft: their gift to others, but also something for which they can sometimes pay a personal cost.
Big White Wall is an anonymous and safe, professionally moderated service that is available online around the clock. For all of us, but perhaps particularly creatives, learning to build our mental fitness and stay connected during difficult moments is an important part of preparing for later professional life. Big White Wall’s connected community offers that opportunity in a unique way.”
The different campuses each hosted events throughout 2019 to draw attention to some of these challenges that creatives face. The campuses all held ‘Tea and Talk’ events to coincide with World Mental Health day on 10 October. In May, SAE reflected on Body Image as part of Mental Health Awareness week. We spoke to students and staff about some of the pressures they face to look or dress a certain way within their chosen creative field.
Whilst the Music/Audio industry is by no means the only creative sector to put people under pressure, SAE has hosted a number of events focusing on the challenges artists face. SAE London invited three musicians to their campus in September to talk about the challenges and barriers in creating and maintaining a space in the music industry, covering various topics such as symptoms, triggers, responsibility, lack, isolation, mentoring, family, environment, coping mechanisms and assistance in the quest to musically create. At SAE Glasgow, one Music Business student made mental health the focus of her Major Project, holding a showcase event in July titled ‘Let’s Talk Mental Health - Working in the Music Industry’.
Providing students with access to Big White Wall’s professional services is just one way in which SAE is supporting its students to be frank and open about the difficulties they are experiencing.
Student Experience Manager, Adam Lowe, said: “With the recent introduction of the Student Mental Health Charter by Student Minds, mental health is becoming more and more important in education - and rightly so. We really listen to our students and we know from our National Student Survey results that our students really like our approach to academic and one-to-one support and so we wanted to bolster this even further with the introduction of the Big White Wall. We wanted an online service that had a focus on building self-resilience, a strong peer support network and fully trained clinicians offering advice and guidance. The Big White Wall offers that, and we are delighted to announce this partnership and offer this service to our students based on their feedback.”
For more information about the ways in which SAE Institute can assist you if you are having difficulties relating to your mental health or wellbeing, speak to your campus Student Experience Officer(s).
Please note that the mental health support services we provide should not be a substitute for seeking professional medical advice. If you are in immediate danger please contact 999 - the UK emergency services. If you feel you need to speak to a medical professional then notify a member of the Student Experience Team as soon as possible and we will help you find the appropriate medical help.