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Sodexo supports students with Mental Wellbeing app

Sodexo has boosted its health and wellbeing commitment to students to include access to the NHS-approved Thrive: Mental Wellbeing app and the use of personal home services business Circles as part of its Student Living by Sodexo offer.

The new services are being offered as part of Sodexo’s Residential Living programme for students living in accommodation managed by Sodexo.

In April due to the restrictions imposed to reduce the spread of Covid-19, the programme was revamped to enable students in lockdown in their student accommodation to access its services which have been designed to help them maintain their mental wellbeing as well as offer them the opportunity to learn new skills during a time when movement and socialising was restricted.

Sodexo has worked with Thrive to adapt the app specifically for university students and it has now been added to the programme which is being offered to students who have been unable to return home as well as those booking accommodation for the next academic year (beginning Sept 2020).

Thrive Mental Wellbeing is an evidence-based app that can be used to prevent and manage stress, anxiety, and related conditions. Developed in the UK by specialists with many years of clinical experience, the app uses easy to learn clinically proven techniques to help people live a happier, more relaxed, stress-free life.

The app, using clinically effective techniques, helps monitor moods and teaches the user relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep muscle relaxation that with practice have shown to help people cope better with stressful situations. It also has a ‘thought trainer’ programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy to help people manage negative thoughts.

Tracey Smith, Managing Director of Student Living, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are hugely focused on creating an environment which supports students, provides a safe and inclusive environment and where support services and pastoral care are clearly signposted.

“Our staff, usually the closest to students outside of the academic environs are often first to see a student experiencing difficulties or loneliness which is why we ensure that our teams receive mental health first aid training to identify the signs of mental health crisis and how best to escalate such issues with the student and university support system. The Thrive app will be a core part of our offer to private purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) providers. Whilst we will work closely with our University partners to incorporate apps such as Thrive into their wider mental health and wellbeing programmes.

In addition to the Thrive app Sodexo is also introducing its concierge services, Circles through its Residential Life programme. Students at Sodexo-managed accommodation will be able to access personal assistance services such as arranging travel bookings, downtime suggestions and shopping through a dedicated portal or over the phone 24/7. The service is aimed at giving students a helping hand when their study workload increases or during exam times.

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