Hi! My name is Belinda Bains and I am the new Student Health & Wellness Coordinator here at Richmond University. This is a new role here and I aim to bring a positive energy, be a friendly face on campus and be a source of support for all students.

I studied a BSc (Hons) in Psychology at the University of Leicester and an MSc in Health Psychology at Aston University. My previous roles include working in both Further Education and Higher Education as a student support and well-being advocate at the University of Birmingham, Aston University and North Warwickshire College.

I have experience supporting students with a variety of mental health concerns, learning difficulties and some who need support transitioning to university life because of the burden of homesickness, isolation, anxiety, depression, ADHD, panic attacks, eating behaviours, alcohol-related issues, PTSD, dyslexia and autism.

I have always been passionate about working in Student Welfare and dealing with student issues first-hand. I want to de-stigmatise mental health, watch students progress positively and succeed and get to work alongside the most inspiring students who are our leaders for the future.

Student mental wellbeing is an increasingly important issue – students with mental health problems are more likely to experience disruption to their education through taking time off, attempting to continue their studies without the support they need, or dropping out altogether. International students can also face additional barriers because of the differences in culture and language. My role is to provide help and support to any students experiencing any of these issues and to assist them in gaining the best student experience possible while at University.

I aim to engage students in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle by encouraging them to take care of their own wellbeing and others around them with the help of our great student leaders team in Residence Life, Peer Mentoring and in Student Government.

I want to promote a positive, “Mentally healthful” student environment, improving student wellbeing through various resources such as yoga, sports, mindfulness, and offer wellbeing events so that students understand I am a point of call for advice, guidance and support.

If you have any ideas on how to improve student health and wellness at Richmond, I would love to hear from you! Similarly, if you would like to discuss any issues or concerns, do please get in touch with me on bainsb@richmond.ac.uk.