“The majority of my time is spent having one-to-one wellbeing meetings with Bioengineering students. I also liaise with colleagues and student representatives in the department and advocate for students if needed.”
I joined the Department of Bioengineering in September 2019 as their Student Wellbeing Adviser. Prior to that, I spent eighteen years working as an NHS doctor. Most of this time was spent in General Practice, with additional work in Palliative Medicine and Medical Education.
The student wellbeing adviser roles at Imperial were very new when I joined in 2019. It was both exciting and slightly daunting to be told I could lead on developing the role for the department. The majority of my time is spent having one-to-one wellbeing meetings with Bioengineering students. These cover a wide range of issues including mental health, personal relationships, family situations, academic, financial and accommodation issues. Depending on the needs of each student, I might continue to meet with them myself or signpost to other services. I also liaise with colleagues and student representatives in the department and advocate for students if needed. The lighter side of the role is arranging wellbeing events such as therapy dog visits and craft sessions.
In October 2022, I was appointed to the lead the team of student wellbeing advisers in the Faculty of Engineering. We are now a team of eleven, with a variety of backgrounds and wealth of experience. One of the most enjoyable parts of this role is meeting regularly with the other student wellbeing advisers to discuss what they are doing in their departments.
Going forward, I am hoping that Imperial’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy will improve wellbeing for all staff and students. I was particularly pleased to see that following from the strategy, there will be student wellbeing advisers or equivalent roles in all departments. This underlines how important and appreciated our work is and I look forward to seeing how the strategy is implemented more widely.
In my personal life, I’m training for next year’s London Marathon, where I’ll be raising money for Leukaemia Care. I’m delighted to have almost reached my £2000 fundraising target. Fortunately, I like running in the rain and our Irish Setter, Lulu, is always happy to join me (although she is less keen on the rain).