Solutions to the devastating effect of Covid-19 on international students in the UK by Julie Wilkinson
As Director and Trainer of Brave the Rage, Julie Wilkinson provides consultancy and delivery of workshops for UK professionals, parents, children and young people that include practical solutions to bullying and anger, which in turn provide sustainable life skills for the future. She is in partnership with many corporate, private, public and third sector charities providing training, consultation and facilitation. This includes Premier League, Nomura Bank, Lancashire Social Services, Liverpool Hope University, South Bank University, Le Cordon Bleu Cookery School and Swiss Learning to name a few.
“Confused. Worried. Stuck. Helpless. Scared. Unproductive. Out of Place. Restless. Anxious. Unsafe” explained a 17-year-old Chinese International Student based in the UK, regarding the devastating impact COVID-19, has caused on his personal wellbeing and mental health as a whole.
Since January, many students have found themselves not only having to socially isolate from their peers, educational settings and perhaps even the host family, but more significantly, absent for long periods of time from their own families overseas. This leads to a heightened sense of bewilderment, confusion regarding conflicting protocols and a sense of segregation transpiring to extreme loneliness and in turn, low resilience to master such modern-day challenges.
Brave the Rage now provides a 100% home learning solution that combats anxiety, anger, bullying and stress, helping parents, professionals and students to increase confidence and adopt self-esteem building, leadership skills, allowing to raise emotional resilience and improve personal wellbeing.
Up to this present date, we all now live in a world that is unprecedented, unstable and uncertain with its future. Students life plans and dreams have been shattered within weeks, ominously deleting A-Level courses, University placements and future career paths.
The mental health charity ‘Young Minds’ highlights how the pandemic has made 83% of all young people with mental health and anxiety conditions exacerbated. Schools being suspended nationwide in 188 countries and 90% of enrolled learners (1·5 billion young people) worldwide are now out of education. The UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay warned that “the global scale and speed of the current educational disruption is unparalleled”. *
However, every cloud has a silver lining and I have delightfully evidenced during leading International Headteachers Webinars over the past few weeks, a true vigour and determination that teachers, advisors, educational settings and host student organisations are successfully rising to such challenges. Constantly adhering to the main values and principles of education, it is the foundation of belief, that we continue to build a better education for every child and champion their right to be safe, secure and supported.
Remote learning tools that adhere to best practice teaching and support within such turbulent and changing times, includes Brave the Rage: ‘The 5 Steps: Solutions to Personal Wellbeing’ Student Support Programme. A simple audio, visual wellbeing programme has been developed by myself personally, during my 20+ year career in intervention and prevention for vulnerable families in the UK and Overseas.
Although, fear will continue to have such devastating impact on the wellbeing of our International students, Brave the Rage can offer such support. With icebreakers, games, movie clips and resources to provide emotional resilience and ensure aspiration, motivation and a desire to succeed against all odds.
THE 5 STEPS: SOLUTIONS TO PERSONAL WELLBEING
1: Analysis of Personal Wellbeing
Ensure a healthy lifestyle with 30 mins exercise per day, robust personal identity with overall love & respect.
2: Reflection of Feelings & Emotions
Communication is the key during these isolating times. Zoom, House Party, Google Team Talk and daily ‘bites’ or webinars allow for professionals to be able to connect and check in with students.
3: Motivation for Positive Change
Use daily confidence building tools and techniques to constantly support your students dreams and goals, continue daily personal and study related action planning and teach the power of the positive self-fulfilling prophecy ‘I am the Best!’
4: Finding Positive Solutions
Brave the Rage ‘Bully Defence’ Tools allow for self-defence against personal negativity. The ‘Chocolate Bubble’ Tool and Anger Management Techniques can help to install student’s resilience, ongoing commitment to tasks and determination to combat demotivation in these tricky times.
5: Committing to a Positive Future
Loss, forgiveness and letting go is essential for moving forward. Mindfulness mediation, daily reflection and career and goal mind mapping ensures commitment to the future. Always remember the golden rules. The 5 Steps to Success!
Julie K Wilkinson
Brave the Rage
Director and Trainer
*The Lancet: Child and Mental Health- April 2020