Student mental health is a considerable concern for all universities due to the mixture of young people first leaving their parental homes with the strains of studying and living more independently.
Our programme with the University started with a formal review of their current mental wellbeing offer to students with recommendations for developments. This was informed by discussions with staff from all relevant services in addition to analysis of their website and service offers. This enabled us to get a good view of the current issues and how they may be tackled.
Stage 2 was the co-design of a Peer Support programme. The aim was to build a network of student supporters who can identify and support students who are struggling with their mental wellbeing. Services are often dependent on students coming to them can mean the most vulnerable are not supported. Peer supporters can access these ‘harder to reach’ student communities – making it easier to reach vulnerable students and support them to use the correct services. Eventually, these peer supporters hold regular workshops dealing with key issues such as Being away from home stress, loneliness and anxiety. These build on students’ self management abilities and make them more resilient.
“The peer support network has been a real success, enabling students a clear path to find the right support for them”
After each session key messages were taken by the leads to each of Hotel for wider input from their staff, widening interest in the project and stimulating discussion.
A comprehensive Mental Wellbeing Policy was produced from these sessions enabling staff to see what support was available to them and empowering managers to feel more assured about how they can support their staff.
This project was underpinned with the support of the Board to highlight the importance of staff mental wellbeing and to agree to have a regular Board meeting agenda item to monitor the progress according to the policy.
Good interventions in mental health can reap up to a 11:1 ROI
Almost 1 in 3 people have experienced mental health issues while in employment.
39% of employees said work affected their mental health over the last 12 months
Less than ½ of employees feel comfortable talking to their line managers about their mental health.
Mental Health costs UK employers £45 billion per year