When entering higher education, the sudden change can create challenges at all stages of the student journey. The impact of living away from home, the stress of studying for long hours - whatever the situation, it can have a lasting mental impact on students. In times of difficulty, both students and yourself should receive the support you need.
In this blog, we’ve outlined student wellbeing resources you and higher education students can refer to for extra support, alongside what they already receive from your institution.
Wellbeing Resources for You
Your higher education institution is already likely to have wellbeing policies and documents which you can refer to and amend as necessary. However, there are many insightful resources for higher education providers available which you can lean on for additional support.
1. Universities UK’s Step Change Framework
The Step Change framework features valuable resources which allow higher education providers to work in close partnership with families, schools and employers to prepare students for sudden, big transitions.
The initiative’s main message, however, is all about self-improvement. In this framework, you’ll find out how universities can adopt mental health as a strategic priority in an institution-wide approach with staff and students involved at all stages.
Funded by UK Research and Innovation and led by King’s College London, SMaRteN is a national research network focusing on student mental health in higher education. Their aim is to focus less on the growing demand for counselling and support services but more on the social factors which cause distress among the student population.
With their research, they aim to find out how they can reduce this so fewer students feel the need to access services. By engaging researchers, experts and stakeholders, they aim to improve the understanding of student mental health.
3. Student Minds
Student Minds is a mental health charity which offers a plethora of resources for both students and higher education providers. You’ll find plenty of information on approaches to help support students and innovative ways to improve their mental health. The charity has also developed a Mental Health Charter.
It features a set of principles to support universities to make mental health a priority. It forms the basis of the Charter Award Scheme which recognises and rewards universities that demonstrate good practice and promote good mental health.
Jisc supports educational providers with digital tools and mechanisms to help enrich the learning and teaching experience for your students. One of the main priorities for Jisc is to explore how they can support the higher education sector and make effective use of student analytics to inform decisions about student wellbeing.
One of the projects at Jisc focuses on developing mental health and wellbeing technologies and analytics. It revolves around how technology and data-informed approaches can contribute to promoting positive mental health in higher education. It’s also to understand how technology can reduce the burden on frontline staff to develop solutions that can improve wellbeing and address mental health issues.
5. Papyrus and Universities UK
Papyrus and Universities UK - the UK’s national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide - are working to help university leaders prevent suicide. The resource includes advice on making communities safe, case studies on approaches to suicide prevention, best practices, intervening in difficult situations and steps to prevent student suicide.
6. What Works Centre for Wellbeing
Another resource to make good use of is the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. Along with establishing the global evidence base of student wellbeing based on research, this resource also includes examples of good practice in regards to student mental health.
7. University Mental Health Advisers Network (UMHAN)
UMHAN is a national UK charity with the largest network of mental health professionals working in education. They also represent advisers who support students experiencing mental health difficulties. You can utilise this resource for support on raising awareness of mental health, improving inclusivity in higher education and much more.
Wellbeing Resources for Students
Along with promoting your institution’s support services, there are also other resources you can push for students to view and seek help from.
8. Student Minds
Although it featured in the list earlier, Student Minds is aimed at both providers and students. As the UK’s leading mental health charity, students can access a vault of information on the additional support they can receive while they study. This valuable resource includes the opportunity to read blogs, find support and get involved in facilitator initiatives.
9. Disable Students’ Allowance (DSA)
If a student suffers from a long-term illness, mental health issue or disability, they can apply for DSA. This resource from the government explains how they can cover some of the extra costs they have such as extra travel, specialist equipment and anything else which makes their student experience a little easier.
For more urgent support, the following resources and services are useful.
10. The Samaritans
The Samaritans are open every day of the year and the service allows students to speak to someone if they’re having a difficult time, struggling to cope or are worried about someone else.
11. Rape Crisis Service
The Rape Crisis Service provides specialist support and services to women and girls who have experienced abuse at any time. They also raise awareness and understanding of this issue, improve services and promote the needs of women and girls.
Mind is another useful resource students should know they can access. This charity provides advice and support to empower those who experience mental health problems. They also campaign to improve their services, raise awareness on mental health and also promote understanding so those suffering get both support and respect.
Papyrus is another resource which offers helpful guidance to students and higher education providers. For students, it’s essential they know Papyrus is somewhere they can receive confidential help and advice for anything related to suicide.
14. The 1752 Group
A UK-based research and lobby organisation, The 1752 Group works to end sexual misconduct in higher education. It draws on expertise from backgrounds in organisational change, student unions, research and more to lead action on staff-to-student sexual misconduct in higher education. The 1752 Group also regularly adds to its list of resources for you to refer to.
Students knowing they have wellbeing services available to them can create a better student experience. It’s also your priority to focus on student happiness and wellbeing so to help with that, we’ve created a guide on improving the student experience in higher education.
Improve Student Experience in Your Institution With Our Guide
In the guide, we’ve spoken to experts who have offered their guidance on the current landscape of student experience. We’ve also outlined some tips on enhancing the student experience strategy with a focus on wellbeing, attainment, retention and more.
To get your free copy, click on the link below.