Coleg y Cymoedd student Rebecca Thomas has achieved third place in the UK wide Student of the year Award for her work with mental health.
20 year old student Rebecca from Trecynon, Aberdare who recently won Endsleigh Student of the Year Award for Wales, has gone on to win third place in the UK final, a tribute to her hard work in the area of mental health.
Rebecca is the main carer for her Mother who experiences mental health problems, which could have been a barrier to learning, but Rebecca chose to take a positive step and progress into further education at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Aberdare campus.
Rebecca has used her experiences in identifying learners who have mental health issues or have also experienced mental health problems with family members. She set up a support group to chat through issues with fellow learners, and has also organised social outings and events.
Not content with establishing a support group in the college, Rebecca became an active volunteer at New Horizons mental health group, and encouraged learners to also join and therefore gain more help and support.
The award recognises the benefit to the learners involved of Rebecca’s work which has helped fellow learners maintain their studies and complete their education, progressing to employment or higher education. Rebecca hopes this will have an impact on the wider community in general.
Welfare Officer Laura Wilson said: “Rebecca has given greatly of her time in college and of her free time at evenings and weekends. She is available to discuss issues with fellow students through social media and often telephones them for a chat.
Rebecca has been an inspiration to all learners facing the challenges of mental health. Her continued work ensures that no learner is discriminated against, only supported and mentored, throughout their time at the campus.”
Rebecca said: I’m so proud to be recognised for the work I do with my fellow students experiencing mental health problems. Mental health is often seen as the ‘Cinderella’ of the medical world and too often is dismissed by society. I am passionate about ensuring that students are mentally healthy to enable them to continue their studies.”