Hundreds of university staff are to get dedicated training to support students struggling with mental health issues caused by the pandemic.

Glasgow Caledonian University has been given funding to train around 300 staff who work directly with students, helped by SAMH (the Scottish Association for Mental Health) and the student's association.

They will learn how to help students who are struggling with the ‘new normal’ of learning online, socialising while social distancing and virtual classrooms, as well as negative experiences of lockdown, anxiety around their livelihoods, health concerns and conditions such as agoraphobia. 

Santander, through Santander Universities, has given £25,000 to support the training.

Fiona Campbell, GCU's Director of People, said: "The training programme will support staff in understanding mental health issues both for themselves and for their students.

"It will ensure they can deal appropriately with students discussing their concerns and have the tools to manage the conversation, actively listen, know how and when to de-escalate and reassure students who are for example experiencing ‘normal’ exam stress, and know when and how to refer to one of our other specialist teams for more serious concerns."

The funding follows £25,000 awarded to GCU by Santander Universities in May to support GCU students facing hardship as a result of Covid-19 this summer with bursaries of up to £1000.