This month’s theme is incredibly important for students in 2020. Here at Hype, mental health and the wellbeing of students has always been a priority for us, so much so that we wanted to dedicate a month’s worth of content to it.
Students are sadly really struggling to feel connected and normal in these times. So, we thought it crucial to highlight the people in your community who you can reach out to for help, advice, or general guidance on anything you may be struggling with.
We spoke to Peter Gilmore, the wellbeing officer for Cardiff University’s A Cappella society, to gain an insight on the importance of having a wellbeing officer for student societies in 2020.
Hype: Hi Peter, thanks for talking to us. Can you describe your role in the society, and why you think it’s important?
Pete: My role in the society is welfare officer. In my role, I’m expected to be a link between society members and welfare services provided by the uni. In my opinion, a good welfare officer should be an approachable, friendly face to discuss problems. Throughout lockdown I saw a number of friends struggle with mental health issues so I applied for the role seeing it as an opportunity to make a difference. I was then voted in by the committee.
Mental health issues are often personal issues. It’s sometimes difficult to be forthcoming to a faceless service or helpline. A wellbeing officer is a friend you can trust and know well from day to day interaction.
Hype: Tell us about the society, how did you get involved with it?
I’m a second year media and communications student. I joined the society in first year having never done A Capella before. I sing as part of “vox” the Universities competitive mixed a capella group. It was a great way of meeting new people and relaxing away from uni work.
The society is incredible. With over 100 people, there’s great levels of diversity. I honestly feel that there’s a place in the society for every type of character. We all have 1 thing in common and it’s just a simple love for singing.
Hype: Do you think being a part of a society can help someone’s mental health?
Being in a society helps mental health unquestionably. In fellow society members, you inevitably have a great support network you can discus problems with. We dedicate 20 minutes at the start of each rehearsal to check in with each other and how we are all doing.
Hype: Do you have advice for students who are struggling with their mental health at the moment?
Try to stay busy. Activities give you structure and a purpose. Preferably these activities should involve other people to help to build a strong support network
Hype: Finally, can you sum up your society in three words?