University launch Braw Blether tables to get students talking

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As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, which began May 9 and will conclude on May 15, the university has announced a new initiative ‘Braw Blether’ tables to encourage students to chat with each other and tackle feelings of loneliness and isolation.

The tables are placed in various locations around campus such as the Pathfoot Crush Hall, Scran, Nourish, SUP and the Macrobert cafe.

The Pathfoot building on campus already contains a “talking bench” to reduce feelings of isolation.

As part of the week between the hours of 12p.m and 2p.m on Monday to Friday, a member of staff will be waiting at the bench if students wish to have a conversation.

A placard which indicates the table is part of the braw Blethers initiative
An example of the indication that the table is part of the Braw Blethers initiative

Commenting on the announcement of the ‘Braw Blether’ tables, Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the university, Jill Stevenson told Brig that: “reducing loneliness, especially following the pandemic, could be a major step towards improving our collective wellbeing.”

Stevenson said that the Braw Blethers tables: “will remain on campus throughout the summer months when we know there are fewer people on campus” and that the tables “build on the success ” of the Pathfoot bench by “encouraging more members of their community to connect in more locations”.

Stevenson concluded by explaining that the Braw Blether table’s initiative is part of the wider university of Stirling and Stirling Student union joint mental health strategy.

The mental health strategy aims to;

“Foster and nurture a culture and environment that respects, protects, promotes and enhances the mental health and wellbeing of our students and staff, enabling them to thrive and achieve their potential whilst achieving our institutional ambitions.“

Speaking to Brig about the Braw Blether tables announcement, the Students Union’s Health and wellbeing officer Esme- Foxworthy Bowers described it as a “nice idea”, adding:

“I hope it reaches the people that need it. It’s always important to listen well and be non-judgemental if someone wants to chat about something with you – hope people get a good blether!”

Feature Image Credit: Ryan Barclay

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