In April 2018, new Welsh Language Standards were implemented in organisations across Wales. Universities and Colleges have a statutory duty to allow students to use Welsh when accessing counselling or mental health support, as emphasised by the Welsh Language Commissioner through the ‘Mae Gen i Hawl’ (I have a right) campaign.
After a successful bid in 2019 Bangor University was awarded funding from the Higher Education Funding Council For Wales (HEFCW) to work with partners across Wales on a new project to improve the accessibility of appropriate mental health support for all students in Wales for whom Welsh is their preferred language.
The bid outlined three initiatives:
· The creation of a network of Welsh Mental Health Practitioners and Therapists
· Train staff and deliver Welsh DBT sessions across Wales to help build student resilience
· The creation of a Welsh language mental health resources website
The project is being led by Bangor University, in partnership with Aberystwyth University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Grwp Llandrillo Menai and Meddwl.org
The project team is currently recruiting two interns to support the creation of the resources website.
Many colleges and universities have invested in online platforms to supplement their mental health support, but these platforms are only available in English!
Students have been lobbying nationally for adequate resources in the Welsh language over the last few years with little success – until now.
The aim is to assess the best elements from other Mental Health sites, apps and services, translate them into Welsh that’s easy to understand and compile them into one accessible website.
The two full-time interns will play a crucial role in the development of the website over the next 6 months developing multi-media Welsh language content, working with students to evaluate information, advice, signposting to services and peer-to-peer awareness raising methods.
The project office is based in Bangor University, however working from home, or on partner sites is possible.
Remember, the ability to communicate fluently in Welsh is essential for these posts.