Watershed moment in stigma challenge for Riverside College’
Riverside College has marked the start of its ‘Anti-Bullying’ week by pledging to back ‘Sticks and Stones’, a local campaign challenging mental health and learning disability-related stigma, on behalf of all its learners and staff.
Michelle Ewen of 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust visited the Kingsway campus to officially invite the College to become a Corporate Partner of the campaign.
Principal Michael Sheehan said; “As a college we are completely opposed to the use of any words which are hurtful or offensive to describe people with mental ill health or a learning disability.”
“By educating our young people about mental health, learning disabilities and the effects of stigma, we hope that they will become more compassionate, better informed members of society.
“For that reason, we are only too happy to support 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and its ‘Sticks and Stones’ campaign.”
With the Principals signing on behalf of the 4,191 students and 452 staff the petition has boosted the Trust’s pledge counter to more than 77,000.
“By signing our pledge and running initiatives such as ‘Anti-Bullying Week’, Riverside College is demonstrating its commitment to creating an inclusive community for its learners and staff,” said Trust Chairman, Bernard Pilkington. “We are delighted to welcome the college onboard as a Corporate Partner of our campaign.”
‘Sticks and Stones’ was launched on April Fool’s Day 2010 with the support of comedian Stephen Fry.
The Trust aims to collect 100,000 signatures on its petition over a 12-month period.