As part of University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day, we speak to members of staff about their contribution to this area.
Name: Jina Tanton
Job title: Health and Wellbeing Coordinator – Warwick Sport
Department: Warwick Sport
1. What does your role involve?
The focus of my role is to develop and deliver inclusive programmes and initiatives that encourage and support students and staff to be physically active with the purpose of enhancing health and wellbeing across the university community.
Working closely with Wellbeing Support Services, a key part of my role is to support students experiencing mental health difficulties to participate in physical activity as a way of enhancing mental health and wellbeing, and managing symptoms associated with mental health difficulties. Students are supported through an individualised Physical Activity Referral Programme.
I also oversee a programme of several free activity classes aimed at staff and students who are new or returning to activity and looking to enhance their wellbeing, and the Warwick Sport Buddy programme. More information about these two programmes can be found at www.warwick.ac.uk/services/sport/health-and-wellbeing/ .
2. What do you find most rewarding about your role?
Seeing individual students and staff progress on their physical activity journal and experiencing the benefits of leading an active lifestyle for themselves is the most rewarding part of my role.
3. …. and what’s the most challenging aspect?
I’ve been at the University of Warwick for five months now. One of the most challenging parts of my role is developing an understanding of how the Health and Wellbeing programme can best support the needs of staff and students at the University of Warwick, particularly those who are new or returning to activity and sport.
4. It’s University Mental Health Day on Thursday 1 March 2018. Are there any specific activities you or your department will be involved in?
Warwick Sport has a number of activities taking place on University Mental Health Day in addition to our usual programme of activities.
- 11:00 - 11:45 and 12:00 - 12:45, Student Minds Workshop, taking place in the Students Union, Room MR2.
- 11:45 - 12:30, Stretch Against Stretch, Relaxing Yoga Session, taking place in the Library, Collaboration Area, Teaching Grid as part of the Library’s Once upon a time in the Library events
- 12:15-13:15, Lunch Time Run, meeting at the Sports Centre Reception
- 14:00-14:30, Wellbeing Walk, meeting at Library Main Entrance
5. Can you give us your top tips for looking after your own health and wellbeing?
- Remember you can’t do everything or be everything to everyone.
- That said, it’s important to take time out from work and study to relax, do something fun, creative or active and spend time with friends and family.
- Plan and prepare. For example put your trainers in your bag the night before. This will prevent stress trying to find them in the morning or forgetting them entirely, and will make that lunch time walk much more likely to happen. The same applies for eating well. Picking up a selection of healthy snacks before the start of the week (think fruit, nuts and cereal bars) and carrying these with you will help keep you energised and discourage you from snacking on chocolates and sweet treats (it’ll be good for the wellbeing of your pocket too!)
- Ten minutes is always better than nothing. Taking ten minutes out from work to take a walk, have a drink and a chat with a friend, read, colour or anything that allows you some time out will enhance your wellbeing and help boost your productivity too.