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The Bridge Network

A student-led peer support network promoting mental wellbeing within the School of Health Sciences

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    pledged of £2,500

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This project received pledges on Sat 01 Jul 2017


Experiencing mental health challenges at University can be a distressing and isolating experience.

For healthcare students this is particularly difficult given that they have to meet the expectations of professional councils, practice based assessment and the emotional labour of health care work.

In this project we aim to create an innovative, safe and supportive network for healthcare students who experience mental health difficulties.

Importantly, we want to place the student values at the heart of this project and so the network will be developed and run by student peers who themselves have experienced mental health challenges.

Peer support is a pioneering approach which has successfully promoted recovery and resilience. It is characterised by a mutual relationship between individuals who have a shared identity which provides acceptance, support and hope.

This network will not only allow students to share experiences, but will equally provide a space for students to support one another, to increase their self-confidence, to build connections and gain a sense of belonging within an evidence-based framework.

Our story

“Now in my final year as a student mental health nurse at the university, through my roles as course representative, peer mentor and student ambassador I have increasingly worked alongside a number of peers who have experienced or continue to experience mental health difficulties. One thing that has become apparent to me over the years is the need for a comfortable and supportive space where health science students can come together as a collective to talk openly about mental distress in a way that empowers each and every individual.”

- Sabrina Carter, BSc Mental Health Nursing, The University of Nottingham

“I am a mental health nurse who has worked in higher education as a lecturer for a number of years. During the time I have been at the University, I have provided support for many students who experience mental health difficulties, and found they can often feel alone and sometimes find it hard to access support, fearing the stigma of experiencing mental health problems for healthcare professionals.  Working with Sabrina provided a great opportunity to develop a different way to help  students connect with each other and introduce a peer support approach which is making a real impact in a range of areas for people who experience mental health challenges “

- Anne Felton, Associate Professor, The University of Nottingham

Where will the money go

The money we hope to raise will go towards developing the skills and knowledge of student peer support facilitators with the ultimate goal of enabling them to set up and run the network, providing;

  • Five day accredited training programmes for student peer support facilitators
  • Peer support student learning guides
  • Peer support training resources
  • Provision of supervision for network facilitators
  • Conference fees for two students to attend a national conference to present the project

The project outline has been developed in collaboration with the Institute of Mental Health Peer Support Training Team. For more information about peer support and the impact it is already having on people's lives follow this link: https://vimeo.com/108467328

Help us succeed!

We’re passionate about making a difference to healthcare students who experience mental health challenges and supporting them to achieve their potential.

We’d be grateful for any donations large or small to get this much-needed project up and running!

Thanks to generous donations from alumni and friends of the University, we've been offered a grant of £6,000 towards the project from Cascade. But this is conditional on us reaching our minimum target with this Jumpstart campaign . Please help us reach our target and unlock the Cascade funding.

And don't forget to spread the word and share this project with anyone who you think can help support us! Please use the social media buttons to share with your network.

Interested in getting involved?

Please don't hesitate to get in touch! Further enquiries can be made to the following:

Anne Felton: Anne.Felton@nottingham.ac.uk

Sabrina Carter: sabrina.ph.carter@gmail.com