Students Supporting Students
Have only just learned of Student Minds.
Did you know: Students, after joining university, are more anxious and more likely to develop depression? It’s no surprise, university can be a stressful and daunting environment. Estimates show that around 25% of all students experience distress at a worrying level. The move away from home is particularly stressful, inducing symptoms of anxiety. In the case of one fifth of students, reaching levels of clinical significance mid-way through second year. We found that most students are most likely to talk to their peers, primarily their friends. However, this can not always be a comfortable experience.
Student Minds was chosen as the supported charity at this year’s Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards. The organisation believes we should take student mental health issues much more seriously:
If tackled early we have the opportunity to prevent the development of more severe mental health problems. Early adult life is a crucial stage in the transition from adolescence independence as an adult. Underachievement or failure at this stage can have long-term effects on self-esteem and the progress of an individual’s life. The opportunity to share experiences can help break down isolation and the format of a group can boost motivation, and the informality of a group session run by Student Minds volunteers – groups do not have waiting lists, and students can self-refer, using the support as and when they feel they need it. Finally, we do not keep records of attendance, removing the concern that accessing help will reflect negatively on a student’s CV or university record.
It’s a great range of activities and clearly making a really valuable contributuon on campuses around the country. The University of Nottingham Students’ Union is also involved:
Student Minds Nottingham (formerly known as UoN Mental Wealth) is a campaigns group that works to promote positive wellbeing and mental health for students whilst studying at UoN.
Our objectives are:
– to tackle the issue of social isolation and stigma of mental health.
– to enhance the mental health provision within the university.
– to break down potential barriers to students and provide opportunities for personal development for students.
We run support groups with the help and training of Student Minds.
We also run events and workshops over the academic year to inform people about mental health conditions and break down barriers.
Universities do, of course, provide services to support students with mental health issues but the work of Student Minds seems to provide a valuable complement to these. This is particularly important given the challenges to public mental health services for young people.
So, a great charity and do hope it continues to grow and provide excellent support for students.
2 thoughts on “Taking Student Mental Health Seriously”
Student minds are great I really like the work they do 🙂 providing support for services that are SO far stretched. I have blogged about it myself : http://easea.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/student-mental-health-something-i-am-passionate-and-opinionated-about/ and here: http://easea.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/how-can-we-tackle-the-growing-demand-for-university-counselling-services-vs-funding-cuts/
This is a serious issue and one that lots of universities are taking ever more seriously. Here in Oxford I could also recommend the campaign Mind Your Head Oxford (http://mindyourheadoxford.org/). I also think that this website has some fantastic resources: http://studentsagainstdepression.org/.