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).

Become a Student Minds Facilitator… Last chance to apply!

student-mindsJoin the team at Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity! We’re looking for student volunteers to help run a brand new Positive Minds Course at Bournemouth University, providing peer-to-peer support for students experiencing mild depression.

We provide a fantastic opportunity for students who are interested in receiving training and on-going support in delivering this project. Successful applicants will join us for a two-day facilitator training workshop covering all the basics of running a safe and effective support group, from listening skills to publicity and lots more.

By creating a positive atmosphere for talking about mental health, we aim to give students the confidence to look after their own wellbeing. This is an opportunity not only to make a real difference to student life but also to develop your own skills and experience!

Applications close on Monday 30 March at Midday so don’t miss out!

For more information about the course and how to apply visit: Or contact with any questions. You can also contact Sarah Worley, Wellbeing Co-Ordinator at BU Student Emotional Wellbeing Service, for an informal chat about applying on 01202 965020 or email

Blue mind charts our link with water, but what about Twitter streams and net surfing?

By Sue Thomas, Visiting Fellow, The Media School

Riding the digital wave.

“Water makes you happier, more connected and better at what you do,” says Wallace J Nichols, a marine biologist and wild water advocate based at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. On 11-12 June 2014 he is sharing this philosophy with a small invited audience at the 4th Blue Mind Summit, held this year at the wild coastal location of Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall.

Green is the colour usually associated with environmental well-being. Trees, parks, and verdant landscapes of all kinds, are advocated by urban planners seeking to improve public health. But, until recently, less attention has been paid to “blue” areas such as beaches, lakes, rivers and the ocean. But study of the impact of blue space on human health and well-being is growing, and it lies behind Nichols’ BLUEMIND research project. The concept of Blue Mind, Nichols says, is about the “human-ocean connection”, an emotional bond whose roots may in the future be charted by neuroscientists.

Researchers of all hues are interested in blue.
Wjklos, CC BY

This kind of research is attracting marine biologists, conservationists, artists, urban planners – indeed, anyone interested in the relationship between humanity and our watery planet. One of the UK research groups hosting the Cornwall event, the interdisciplinary Blue Gym project at the University of Exeter Medical School, has been investigating the psychological and physical health benefits of exposure to natural water environments. They have found, for example, that the stress levels of people living in coastal communities may be lower than normal simply because they spend more of their leisure time near, or even in, the sea.

Some have looked for physical explanations, for example there has been research into the role and abundance of negative ions – atoms with more than the usual number of electrons – in increasing serotonin levels and improving mood where air and water collide. But not all of us live near water, so how can we get a similar fix?

Although the real experience can never be matched, you might at least have access to some of the benefits of being near water by simply looking at it on your computer, tablet or phone. This impact of digital nature is something I’ve been exploring.

In his new book, Nichols also explains the benefits of simply looking at images of seas, lakes and rivers. For example, he describes an experiment at Plymouth University in 2010 where 40 adults were asked to rate pictures of different natural and urban environments. The researchers found that any picture containing water triggered higher ratings for positive mood, preference and perceived restorativeness, than those images with no water, no matter whether they were shown in a natural landscape or an urban setting. Other experiments have supported these findings.

Dude, it’s a metaphor.
Duncan Rawlinson, CC BY-NC

There seems little doubt that connotations of water, whether visual, aural or even text-based, can make us feel better. The relationship between computers and the blue mind first appeared in 1992 when net pioneer Jean Armour Polly was commissioned to write an article introducing the internet to her fellow librarians. The net was then already more than 20 years old, but few people had heard of it and she was unsure how to describe her online experiences. “I needed something that would evoke a sense of randomness, chaos, and even danger. I wanted something fishy, net-like, nautical,” she wrote later.

As Polly cast around for the right metaphor, her eye fell on the mousepad beneath her hand. Designed by Steve Cisler at the Apple Library User’s Group in Cupertino, California, it featured a picture of a surfer. For Polly, a land-locked librarian in Syracuse, New York, with no connections to surf culture and not even a keen swimmer, it made perfect sense. “Eureka”, she said, “I had my metaphor.”

The resulting article, “Surfing the Internet”, marked the first published use of the term and appeared in the Wilson Library Bulletin in June 1992.

There has since been competition for who really did say it first, including from Mark McCahill, an American programmer, who also apparently used the phrase that very same year, and from Tom Mandel, a San Franciscan futurist and a surfer himself.

Landlocked but still surfing.
Jared, CC BY

No matter who started it, the notion of surfing the internet has been picked up worldwide by people who have never mounted a board, perhaps never even seen a beach, yet their imaginations are fired by the idea of carefree riding in a sea of information.

It is not the only example of watery metaphor to be found in cyberspace. We swim in our Twitter streams, dive into torrent files, float on data clouds. Waterfalls, babbling brooks, and the ubiquitous ocean views can be found on many desktops and home screens. Try, for example, installing Beach Live Wallpaper on your mobile. “This wallpaper brings the sunny beach to you,” says the blurb. “The waves in summer time break on the shore right on your phone.” And relax. You have brought the blue mind into your digital life.

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.

MP who battled depression among speakers at BU mental health conference


An MP who was one of the first to speak publicly about his battle with mental health issues shared his thoughts and experiences during a conference at Bournemouth University.

Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, raised the topic of his depression in the House of Commons in a bid to reduce the stigma around the subject.

He was one of the keynote speakers at the Engagement in Life: Promoting Wellbeing and Mental Health conference, which took place at Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus on Friday September 6.

The day-long conference was organised by the University Department of Mental Health, a collaboration between BU’s School of Health and Social Care and Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust.

Kevan said: “I think academic research into mental illness is very important, but it shouldn’t stay in an ivory tower, and I think this is good example of the university looking outwards and actually engaging with its local community. I think that’s very important.”

During his keynote, Kevan spoke about his own personal battle with depression and the need to reduce the stigma around talking about mental health.

“We need to see mental illness as the same as a physical illness,” he said.

“We’ve got to get it into people’s heads that just like any other condition,” he said.

The conference was attended by more than 200 service users and health professionals from across the country and looked at innovative, recovery-focused service development, training and research in mental health care.

Other keynote speakers at the conference were Rachel Perkins OBE, chair of cross-government advisory committee Equality 2025, and Professor Geoff Shepherd, who leads a national programme for the Centre of Mental Health around supporting recovery journeys.

Professor Shepherd said: “It’s an important conference, bringing together a lot of people who are interested in a number of things but particularly these ideas which come now under the heading of recovery.

“Up to now, most people have thought that it’s the staff who are in charge, that they have all the knowledge, and expertise,” he added.

“But actually, the people who come to the service know a lot as well and know some rather different things.

“The way that services will be most helpful in the future is if we can combine these two elements.”

There was also a wide-ranging programme of sessions looking at recovery-focused topics including measuring recovery outcomes, personal stories of recovery and developing peer support workers.

Professor Sue Clarke, Director of the University Department of Mental Health, said: “Good mental healthcare depends critically on bringing service users and service providers together in a mutually respectful and compassionate way.”

Find out more about the University Department for Mental Health