Stay happy with our Student Wellbeing service

Our new Student Wellbeing team are there to offer support, information and advice for all BU students around a range of issues.

They can help you if you’re looking for support for any of the following, as well as help you access more specialist services if needed:

  • Anxiety, panic, depression, low mood and other mental health conditions
  • Stress
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Lifestyle issues including difficulties sleeping or eating
  • Relationship and family issues
  • Bereavement
  • Isolation, social anxiety and confidence
  • Advice if you are concerned about a friend.


Sarah Worley, Student Wellbeing Coordinator at BU, says “our team of Wellbeing Advisors can offer students advice and practical help with wellbeing, such as techniques to handle stress, anxiety and emotional difficulties. If you and the advisor feel that counselling could be a benefit to you, they can refer you to one of our Counsellors for support and a confidential place to talk”.

If talking therapies aren’t your thing, the team run weekly drop-in sessions in term time if you have a quick question, want to find out more about a particular support option or are worried about a friend. Workshops and group sessions run each term to help you live life to the full and get the most out of your time at BU. Or you can access information and links to other services and resources online and from their offices in Talbot House.

Drop-in sessions for this term:


The Student Wellbeing service is run by BU in partnership with Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust. Anyone can come along to the drop-in or sign up to a workshop without registering with the service, but if you do wish to register, we take your privacy seriously and you will need to sign our confidentiality agreement.

Find out more:

  • Call: 01202 965020
  • Email:
  • Visit: Student Wellbeing reception above the medical centre in Talbot House, Talbot Campus, Monday to Thursday 9am – 5pm and Friday 1pm – 4pm (term time only).

Make the most of your placement – tips from BU Nursing students

Final year nursing students at BU recently contributed to a doctoral study about learning on practice placements.

Amanda Alexander, Joanne Hewitt, Teresa Pearce, Elinor Suter and Clare Taylor volunteered to share their top tips to help new nursing students make the most of their placement experience.

Whether you’re a nursing student or not, if you’ll be starting a placement soon, their tips may help you too:

See what team members do:

Spend time with different people in the team. They’ll teach things in different ways – some may ask you to observe while others expect you to practice a technique or activity. Officially request a day working with different members of staff so that you can focus on what you are learning.

Build your confidence:

Do your homework before arriving on placement, and while you’re settling in, take notes and be prepared to ask questions. The first few days or weeks of a placement can be overwhelming, and for healthcare professionals, things like shift handovers can be challenging, especially when there’s lot of jargon being used. Make sure you know who you are working with so you know who to refer questions to, and familiarise yourself with processes quickly so you can make even small contributions. At the end of each day, ask yourself ‘What have I learned?’

Build your knowledge base:

Learning is your priority on placement and everything is a learning opportunity, from practicing a procedure or process to observing how colleagues make complex decisions. Ask questions, request feedback and make the most of time with your mentor to discuss your learning outcomes and how to achieve them.

Stand firm on important issues:

Some staff can resent placement students because of their protected role or lack of expertise, so try and build a good rapport with everyone, keeping your views and actions professional. If you feel that your learning experience is being affected by an individual’s attitude, initiate a conversation with your mentor or your university link tutor. Be assertive in seeking confirmation of who your mentor is on each shift (or project) as it’s important for your learning to know who’s supervising you. If you need more practice with a procedure or process, ask and keep asking – it’s too late to regret or complain once you’re back at uni.

The students’ top tips were originally published in Nursing Standards magazine on Wednesday 28 January 2015.

E-cigarettes, Batteries & Chargers

BU’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team would like to remind students about the risks of using mains/USB chargers for E-Cigarettes.e-cigs-1

Electronic cigarettes have been linked to more than 100 fires. Fire services in the UK are now attending at least one blaze involving the devices each week. They have attended dozens of incidents suspected to have been sparked by e-cigarettes or related equipment – including chargers – in less than three years.

Students should be aware of the fire hazard associated with the use and recharging of e-cigarettes, disposable electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), cigars, pipes and similar battery powered tobacco replacement products which use a heating element (atomiser) to produce a vapour which resembles smoke.

The devices should not be left whilst being recharged either by using a mains adaptor, USB port on a laptop, or computer in case they catch fire. This applies to all BU vehicles as well, including those hired in.e-cigs-2

They should not be used in an oxygen rich environment given the increased risk of ignition and explosion.

They should only be used outside at least 10 meters away from buildings as they are treated the same as normal smoking material with regards to BU’s policy on smoking.

Equipment used for charging should be marked with a CE mark to provethey have been tested to an approved higher standard.

New Defibrillators on Campus

defibrillatorThe health and wellbeing of our staff and students is a priority.

In addition to the numerous services we provide, eight fully Automated External Defibrillator’s (AEDs) have recently been located around both Talbot and Lansdowne Campus.

An AED is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm in the event of sudden cardiac arrest and, if needed, can send an electric shock to the heart to try and restore a normal rhythm.

These units are easy to use and clear instructions are provided, but to support this initiative defibrillator training is being held over the coming months.

Students are encouraged to participate in these sessions, which not only provide an invaluable life skill, but could also ultimately save someone’s life.

To book onto a session, please email the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team indicating which session you would like to attend;

Thursday 2 October, 12.30pm – 4.30pm, CG07, Christchurch House, Talbot
Tuesday 14 October, 9am – 1pm, R207, Royal London House, Lansdowne
Friday 31 October, 12.30pm – 4.30pm, CG06, Christchurch House, Talbot
Tuesday 11 November, 9am – 1pm, R303, Royal London House, Lansdowne
Monday 24 November, 12.30pm – 4.30pm,
R303, Royal London House, Lansdowne
Tuesday 9 December, 9am – 1pm, R302, Royal London House, Lansdowne
Wednesday 10 December, 9am – 1pm,  P401, Poole House, Talbot
Thursday 18 December, 12.30pm – 4.30, R303, Royal London House, Lansdowne

The Defibrillators are located at;

Talbot Campus
Poole House [Main Reception]
SportBU [Reception]
Talbot House [External Main Entrance]
Christchurch House [Main Entrance Porch]

Lansdowne Campus
Studland House [Main Reception]
Executive Business Centre [Reception Area]
Bournemouth House [Reception Area]
Purbeck House/Melbury House [Entrance Lobby]


Cyberparks will be intelligent spaces embedded with sensors and computers

By Sue Thomas, Visiting Fellow, The Media School

Virtually healthy.
Ed Yourdon, CC BY-NC-SA

Visit any urban park on a sunny day and you’ll see people relaxing with newspapers, books and, of course, phones and tablets. The digital has become part of our outdoor lives and that trend is set to continue. But there is another trend to take into consideration – the fact that many of us really prefer to stay inside.

In 2009, the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment survey began collecting detailed information on the public’s use and enjoyment of the outdoors. It found that while half (54%) of the adult population normally visited open spaces in and around towns and cities, such as parks, canals and nature areas, coasts and beaches; or countryside areas such as farm and woodland, hills and rivers at least once a week, 10% of respondents stated they had not visited the great outdoors in the previous 12 months and 8% had made only one or two visits. The figures could be better. There is plenty of evidence to show that being out in nature is good for our physical and mental health.

So can we capitalise on our new-found love of the wired life to encourage more people to go outside? A new European research project called CyberPark aims to foster greater knowledge about the relationship between technology, communication and public spaces. Its main objective is to strengthen the dialogue between those already involved in creating public spaces and developing technology, and create new conversations designed to share knowledge, spark new ideas, and trigger new projects which capitalise on bringing nature and the digital closer together.

Hylozoic Ground.

It has great ambitions: a world of intelligent environments where sensors and computers are seamlessly embedded to enhance ordinary park activities, places where the landscape itself might respond to people moving through it. An indoors example of this might be Canadian architect Philip Beesley’s installation Hylozoic Ground, an immersive, interactive environment that moves and breathes around its viewers in which Beesley uses next-generation artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and interactive technology create an environment that is nearly alive.

Blended environments

In the past, the natural environment and digital domains were seen as distinctly different. But the growth of social media, wearable tech such as smartwatches, mobile connectivity – and that we now carry the internet in our pockets – are profoundly influencing the way we experience time, space, and other people. Soon, the rise of Google Glass and Oculus Rift, the virtual reality gaming headsets, will lead to even more blended environments.

The CyberParks idea grew from a project which started in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1984, when landscape architect Ina Šuklje and her colleagues won a competition to design a new park on brownfield land close to the city centre. Bureaucratic hold-ups meant that the project proceeded slowly, but they did create a series of popular outdoor multimedia reading portals under the theme “United Books of the World”. However, financial support dwindled and the portals could not be maintained. They fell into disrepair.

But when Lisbon-based landscape architect Carlos Smaniotto Costa visited the city in 2010, Šuklje’s experience ignited a new idea. The futuristic concept had been built before its time and was poorly supported by its funders. But now, in the second decade of the 21st century, the time was right to marshall the resources of the European community and learn how it might be done on a bigger scale. And so the idea of CyberParks was born.

Smaniotto Costa co-ordinated an application to the European Co-operation in Science and Technology(COST) fund, one of the longest-running European instruments supporting co-operation among scientists and researchers across Europe. It saw CyberPark as a promising transdisciplinary idea, and agreed to fund it. In April 2014 the team met for the first time at COST’s towering offices in Brussels. I was there too, invited to contribute my technobiophilia research to the discussions.

Digital breaks

A number of projects related to the CyberPark ethos have already appeared. In Paris, for example, Escale Numérique (which translates as Digital Break), was designed by Mathieu Lehanneur to stand at the Rond Point des Champs-Elysées. Inspired by the city’s 19th-century network of drinking fountains, it taps into an underground fibre optic network to provide a fountain of free wifi in a haven of quiet on a busy city street. Comprising a large touch screen protected by a sustainable green roof covered with plants and concrete swivel seats with mini tables and an electricity supply, it heralds the kind of thing that could be achieved on a larger scale.

Green wifi.
Mathieu Lehanneur

The CyberPark team want to go further. Researchers from 21 countries gathered round the table at our first meeting in Brussels. There were urban planners, anthropologists, digital media specialists, landscape architects and architects, engineers, computer scientists, geographers, interaction designers and psychologists. At break time, I asked around. Did anyone have a clear idea of what a cyberpark might actually be? Nobody did, but that was the point. We were there to find out, to embark together on a four-year adventure to discover the future of urban parks. But we all agreed on one thing – however digital it might get, the essence of the park is all about being outdoors, experiencing nature, and encountering other people.

“I just want to know,” said Thanos Vlastos, a professor of urban and transport planning at the National Technical University of Athens and self-confessed utopian, “how we get people to go outside?” It’s something that we plan to find out.

The Conversation

Sue Thomas does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.