Earlier this month, welfare and security staff from the three main post-secondary institutions in York, York St John University, the University of York and York College, attended a training day on how best to safeguard their students’ physical and emotional wellbeing. The event, which took place on the 6th October, was run by the North Yorkshire police force and local charities.
The event was recently announced as part of a drive to prove that universities and colleges are responding adequately to the crisis in student mental health and tragic accidents, such as the death of University of York student Ethan Peters two weeks ago, amidst some negative publicity.
The topics covered included how to support and provide advice to students facing problems such as excessive drinking, drug use, domestic abuse and hate crime. The training, which was delivered in the format of interactive presentations, was provided by experienced professionals, ranging from Supporting Victims, the Lifeline drug abuse charity and police officers with specialist knowledge in combatting hate crime, sexual abuse and modern-day slavery.
The day’s host, Inspector Lee Pointon, commented:
“York is a very safe city in which to live, work and study, so students can be reassured that they are attending university or college in one of the safest places in the country. However, when problems or issues do arise, it’s very important that students have access to the right support. This education day brought together key staff from charities, police and educational institutions, to ensure that we all have the right skills and knowledge to keep students safe. The day was extremely well received and this initiative is something that we hope will continue in the future.”
Jill Ellis, the Deputy Director of Student Support at the University of York, added:
“Ensuring that our students have a safe and enjoyable experience while at York is of paramount importance and we are committed to a number of initiatives designed to highlight and enhance student safety both on and off campus. The University’s students’ union works with North Yorkshire Police to deliver vulnerable person training to venues across the city and other initiatives include health and safety briefings, campaigns around mental health and staying safe near York’s rivers. By working with our partners across York we can ensure the city remains one of the safest in the country to live and work.”
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