Student Experience Award winner - Becky Talbott

At the Discovering Excellence Awards held on 10 November we celebrated some of the most innovative, successful and talented people working here at the University.

At a time when the importance of student mental health and wellbeing is headline news, the winner of our Student Experience award has done more than most to highlight this vital area.

Over the seven years that Becky Talbott has worked at the University of Leicester she has been dedicated to working proactively to improve the student experience.

Becky Talbott

Becky volunteered to be the secretary for the University Mental Health Advisors Network and through this work the university was invited to pilot the Mental Health First Aid in Higher Education for staff workshop.

In setting up student mental health workshops, Becky quickly identified the barriers to participation which affected students. They felt uncomfortable coming forward due to issues of gender, culture and of the stigma surrounding metal health.

Becky has taken her tailor-made awareness raising workshops into departments across the university to reach those students who would not normally attend the counselling service.

As part of the ongoing support for mental health at the University, Becky delivered the innovative ‘Look After Your Mates’ workshop. This session aims to equip students with the skill and knowledge to support their friends, increasing their knowledge and understanding of what mental health is, the difficulties faced and the support available, as well increased knowledge of their own wellbeing and how to look after themselves.

On receiving the award, Becky said: “It felt amazing. I’m just really pleased to have the acknowledgement around my work and the work of the team into mental health.

“I was really surprised because I thought the evening would be more about the academic side of the University, so it was really nice to see student support services and mental health in particular being recognised.

“We’ve been trying to bring this onto the main agenda for a long time and seeing this happen with the support of the Students’ Union and departments is great. They are now approaching us to hold workshops and provide support. The Students Union are integral in the work we do, and it’s great that there are senior people here who understand that this isn’t an additional service, it’s integral to the University.”

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