Making sure students aren’t just leaving university with a degree, but with a smile on their face too.10th October 2019
We are a few weeks into the new academic year and as millions of learners around the globe have begun another period of study. It is now more imperative than ever that institutions keep a close eye student wellbeing and mental health.
College and university life is hard. As much as there are fun times, the stress of the future weighs heavily on a lot of learners. With the vast range of demographics attending nowadays, there are many other commitments that can add to those feeling.
According to the ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 95% of students own a smartphone. As much as putting on fairs, pinning up posters and other ways of raising awareness is good. Have you thought that the problem may lie with communications not being instant, easily accessible and right under the nose of those that need it?
Utilising technology to speak directly to students is an integral part of giving them the right information needed. To gather it, read it and reach out whenever they need to.
Working alongside our partners at UniWellBeing, we have looked into common factors and stages of the academic lifecycle. This will give you a better chance of making sure that students aren’t just leaving with a degree, but a smile on their face too.
Understanding what causes students to feel uneasy in themselves can stop issues at the source. By enhancing the care given around the campus and online will give those who need it a safe place to talk and listen. Or even just keep in the back of their mind to make them feel better.
Promoting student wellbeing behaviours gives students key information on the best ways to steer clear of feeling like things aren’t going well. University is a place for having fun and making friends but damaging your mental health by not looking after yourself can have adverse effects on the rest of your life.
Alongside this, providing learning tools and functionality on your university app puts the power back into the hands of those that need it. It is impossible to look after every single student at your university. However, by utilising key communication tools and giving access to apps such as UniWellBeing, everyone can get the help they need. Whenever they need it.
The #AskTwice campaign that has taken social media by storm over the past few months. Especially on 10th October for Mental Health Awareness Day. By raising awareness against the stigma, students will trust your institution more. It’s okay to not be okay, so making sure everyone knows that is vital.
There are a few things you can do to help with the early intervention of combatting mental health issues:
- Provide student wellbeing literacy training to students and staff
- Encourage disclosure via champions and open discussion
- Creative intrusive communities of learning and peer support
- Ensure that academic policies align with support
Once the buzz of the freshers period has calmed down, students are really sometimes thrown into the deep end with the amount of work, deadlines and possible exams. Understanding the transition stages of a student’s lifecycle can give you focus points on when to emphasise help if needed. Whether that is around calendar dates such as exams, holiday periods, end of study or just a cold Monday morning. Communicating the right information at the right time might just give somebody that little helping hand they need, a message to say that your institution is here if needed puts the power back in their hands and will give a much-needed boost around possibly stressful periods of study.
Addressing mental health in students can and will have a positive effect on life after study. By ensuring student mental health is treated as a societal concern, we can encourage early intervention and action. By intervening early and at critical transition points, we can avoid the long-term risks associated with poor mental health, which can have far-reaching consequences for the next generation.
If you would like to learn more about how UniWellBeing through myday can help assist with your mental health strategy, do not hesitate to get in touch.