By Press Office 30 January 2018

Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh has received its first award from the Big Lottery Fund’s Young Start programme.

The Big Lottery Fund will make £26,000 available over the next two years to support student mental health initiatives at QMU, including providing Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) Training for students. The University has already trained 23% of staff and this funding ensures it can offer additional sessions to students.

The funding application, as well as the delivery of the project, is a collaboration between QMU and Queen Margaret University Students’ Union (QMUSU) Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Group, as well as the University’s Development & Alumni Office.

Irene Hynd, University Secretary at QMU, said: “The Group is delighted by the success achieved in securing these funds, which will be invaluable in raising awareness and understanding of mental ill health, as well as providing students with the tools to identify symptoms and sign-post their peers to relevant services.

“The ability to roll out further SMHFA Training for students also supports the University and Students’ Union in meeting the objectives of the Joint Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy; framed around the core principles of promotion, prevention and support.”

Stewart Sands, Student President, QMUSU, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity and a positive step towards breaking the stigma that surrounds mental health. Offering further SMHFA training sessions for both students and staff will help build a strong support network at QMU and encourage more open conversations about mental health and wellbeing.”

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said, “Young Start helps Scotland’s next generation unlock their talents through a wide range of activities. These are designed to engage and inspire young people, and ensure they have the best possible start in life. The funding will make a big difference and I wish Queen Margaret University every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of young people in their local community.”

For more information on QMU’s Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Group, email the Co-Conveners of the Group; Sheena Watson, E: SWatson@qmu.ac.uk, or Hilary Glendinning, E: HGlendinning@qmu.ac.uk

For more information about QMU and QMUSU’s Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy, visit: www.qmu.ac.uk/media/3979/student-mental-health-and-wellbeing-policy-october-2016.pdf

For more information about the Big Lottery Fund’s Young Start programme, visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/youngstartfund

Ends

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239, or Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000. 

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