College Students use New Award-winning Tech for Mental Health

Young people in Henley are working together to prioritise their mental health and safety through innovative technology.

The Henley College has partnered with The Student Voice, a ground-breaking app that removes barriers for young people to confidently report their own issues and identify harmful hotspots within their school, college and the local town.

The Student Voice offers interactive maps of all the contexts young people spend time in, including school, college, home and the local community parks and bus routes, enabling students to rank how safe they feel and report any issues in these contexts. The school or college can then offer the most appropriate and effective response, be the issue mental health, sexual harassment, bullying, home life or online safety, and intercept safeguarding issues before they escalate, helping to prevent future harm occurring in these spaces.

Teddy Ramplin, an 18-year-old student and EDI and Welfare Officer within the Student Union at The Henley College, comments: “Reporting through the app means we can get the message to the right team quickly, so that they are able to address things.”

Jay Smith, Welfare and Safeguarding Officer at The Henley College, said: “The young people and management team can work together to create the best possible learning environment, by using this app to quickly communicate. We have embedded it into our work with our learners and shown them how they can share any of their concerns. Our Ofsted inspection inspectors were really impressed with the app’s role in allowing our learners to feel safe and listened to.”

“The main barrier for young people to report an issue is the fear of their peers or approaching an adult face to face,” says Stephen Willoughby, founder of The Student Voice. “Research has shown that the social rules of young people can make it even harder to come forward when there is an issue, but providing young people with a safe space to speak up confidentially or anonymously means the conversation can be started.”

Jay concludes: “The app has given young people an alternative route to share concerns without them having to come into the welfare office,” he noted. “They have the ability to share things anonymously or with their details, empowering them to communicate in a manner that suits their comfort level. We are passionate about empowering our students to speak up and directly impact their surroundings, and we believe that this will help them develop as mature, kind, and socially responsible adults.”

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