“I feel a lot more settled knowing someone is always there to help.”
Saajan is 19 years old, has autism and is studying physics at De Montfort University whilst living at home. That means a 5am start to travel to Leicester by train followed by a walk into campus which leaves him exhausted by midday as he often forgets to take a break. But Saajan now has reminders built into his Brain in Hand to prompt him to take actions that will help keep him healthy and alert. He previously wrote down the advice he got from his university mentor, and the notes often got lost; now on his phone, he knows it’s within easy reach. Saajan particularly likes the traffic light system on the app, which summons assistance when he needs it.
Last year whilst preparing coursework he became anxious about missing a deadline, so he requested help by using the traffic lights on Brain in Hand. A university support team member was able to talk it through with him, which enabled him to settle down and get on with the task. At his next support appointment with his mentor, he developed solutions to add to his Brain in Hand app which would help next time he faces this problem.
“It really has actually changed my life. I was sceptical at first but now I would not turn back.”
Holly is 19 years old and is a first-year student studying Graphic Design at De Montfort University. Holly is very close to her parents and found it extremely tough when they moved to Canada shortly after she started university. She has struggled with living on her own for the first time and experiences panic attacks so she has worked with the university support team to enter advice and reminders into her Brain in Hand.
Holly finds walking home especially hard, as her route involves passing Leicester City’s stadium. With the help of Brain in Hand, she doesn’t panic and freeze if she’s faced by large crowds – she simply reminds herself of alternative routes. Her family have also been given access to Brain in Hand, letting them add comments and words of encouragement, which has been especially motivating for Holly.
Tina Sharpe, Head of Disability Advice and Support, told us:
“The first year of the pilot has been one of developing strategies to ensure that the BIH app is truly integrated into the support packages of our ASD students.
We have learnt that we need to have ongoing workshops throughout the University academic year; that we ensure that we monitor and we respond to the data provided ( this has proved particularly useful when considering high anxiety points) and that for the future sessions we ensure students are working with the app wherever possible prior to them arriving at the University
Going forward we hope to have more students from the ASD community enrol on the app but that we expand this into a pilot that meet the needs of the students with Mental Health issues .
This has been a truly successful venture and one which we will continue to develop with our partners.”
Find out more…
If you are an HE Professional (Disability Advisor, Needs Assessor, NMH Supporter) wanting to access free Brain in Hand training, please click here to book in a session for you and/or your team.