Boost your efforts in the mental health crisis at universities
As a student, you know how important it is to have positive mental health and well-being. Unfortunately, many students are struggling with mental health issues due to the current university mental health crisis. But there is something you can do about it!
The number one cause of death among young people in the UK is suicide. This is an urgent issue and we need to take action now. If you want to do more to improve mental health at universities, then this article is for you.
According to government statistics, 20% of university students suffer from depression at some point during their studies. This rises to 27% for international students. Mental health issues can affect all aspects of a student’s life and greatly impact their studies and well-being. This is why it’s so important that universities and students work together to support students who need extra help. Although more universities are offering mental health support and services, there is still a long way to go.
We have identified a few learnings from the universities we worked with, and the following five tips will help you to address the mental health crisis on your campus and improve student well-being:
Lower the barrier for students to seek help
1. Make seeking support easier through online tools and resources as well as by making information easily accessible. This may include providing students with online self-help tools or workshops, and classes on managing stress, anxiety, and depression. For example, Vytautas Magnus University had 30% of Ukrainian students who fled the war to request individual support.
2. Ensure students are aware of campus support services and signpost them to these. Consider including information on mental health in orientation programs for incoming students to help them to navigate these issues in their first few weeks at university.
Ask questions about inclusion and diversity
3. Ask about students’ experiences of mental health and well-being in your institution. Identify areas that need improvement and implement strategies that address these issues.
Promote mental health awareness on campus
4. Integrate mental health into existing curricula, activities, and events. Encourage conversations about mental health and encourage students to talk about their feelings and experiences.
5. Risk factors associated with stress, anxiety, and depression among university undergraduate students