Waterside wellbeing. ‘The Health Academy’ welcomes its newest students

Member News

Keeping people at Waterside in tip-top condition is the main mission for one group of health-aware students.

The Health Academy is a practice placement opportunity for University of Northampton Mental Health Nursing students that started last year. It helps them meet some of the required number of hours for clinical practice placements, but while on campus.

The students deliver health promotion and wellbeing initiatives on a drop-in basis for their peers, staff, visitors, or members of the community who are at Waterside.

They cover basic health checks (such as taking blood pressure), provide strategies to manage stress and give nutrition tips.

Health Academy students can also develop other important skills such as confidence and public speaking. Robinson Magbanua* is one student who is getting the most out of his placement time at Waterside: “Being part of the Health Academy is helping my communications skills a lot and I’m finding it much easier to approach people, so I feel much more confident. “The interventions we are providing really reflect the clinical aspects of our main teaching and learning. The activities and interventions we provide help people to understand why looking after their physical and mental health is important.

“We’re really busy especially on days when prospective students come to Waterside for their course interviews. They find talking with us really useful as they are adjusting to what will be a new world and their new home and we are there to provide some extra support. It’s just really great to be part of this team.”Robinson and the team are stationed in the Learning Hub building, either on the third floor or out and about on the ground floor.

The first cohort of 12 students delivered a phenomenal number of activities and workshops during their seven-week placement:

  • Wellbeing pledges: 277
  • Mindfulness sessions: 275
  • Stress buster/stress container: 143
  • 5 Ways to Wellbeing: 90
  • Healthy eating tips: 75
  • Physical health check-ins: 31

The initiative has been so successful it will continue as a permanent placement opportunity for second-year Mental Health Nursing students. Future developments on the cards include a massage chair and a sensory room to help people relax.

This is the second Health Academy group and the scheme is the brainchild of student Charlotte Kumi and Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing Iain Schrantz.

There are also discussions about opening-up the Health Academy to the three other fields of nursing at UON.