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Positive Digital Practices: Video - Neill Boddington (Mental Health Adviser)

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posted on 2023-11-30, 12:57 authored by Leigh DownesLeigh Downes

Neill Boddington is a mental health adviser at The Open University with experience of supporting students and staff. In this short video he talks about how to spot some of the key signs of emotional distress, the benefits of creating a coping strategy, how to talk to someone about support needs, and offers some practical strategies to help navigate emotional responses.

This video was produced by the emotional resilience work package as part of the Positive Learner Identities strand of the Positive Digital Practices project (2021-2023).

The Positive Digital Practices project adopted a participatory knowledge-exchange approach to scale up, embed and sustain positive practices that support mental wellbeing for part-time, commuter and distance learning students.

Taking a holistic approach to wellbeing, and drawing on student lived experience and effective knowledge-exchange partnerships between The Open University, University of Warwick and Bradford University and sector bodies Student Minds, Jisc and University Mental Health Advisory Network (UMHAN), this project worked with students as partners to co-create resources and initiatives that scaled up positive practices, embedding them across the all three HEIs, and pilot them more broadly in higher education via the sector-body partners.

  • The Open University led on Positive learner identities, focusing on emotional awareness, encouraging help seeking behaviour, recognising achievements and valuing learning opportunities.
  • University of Bradford led on Positive digital communities, supporting students’ sense of belonging and purpose, informal peer support and meaningful connections that do not rely on a campus environment.
  • University of Warwick led on Positive pedagogies, establishing inclusive, compassionate practices in technology-enhanced learning that support mental wellbeing.
  • Student Minds led on student engagement in the project, facilitating a student panel to steer and guide the project.
  • Jisc led on sector-wide engagement, drawing on their established cross-disciplinary networks in technology-enhanced learning.
  • UMHAN led on engagement of mental health professionals, bringing expertise from 400 mental health advisors and mentors from 130 institutions.

Further information about the project is available here: Project - Positive Digital Practices (


Office for Students (mental health funding competition, using innovation and intersectional approaches)



  • Public document

Institutional priority category

  • Achieving Study Goals
  • Employability and Career Progression
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Students’ Learning Experiences


  • Mental Health
  • Reducing Inequalities
  • Student Co-creation

Subject discipline

  • Social Sciences and Global Studies
  • Health and Wellbeing


  • England
  • Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Wales

Project ID

AMS 1648474

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