LOOKING AFTER A MATE
The Looking After a Mate study set out to understand the support for mental health difficulties that student provide to each other. The study looked into the challenges students face in providing support, their needs as supporters, the support they receive and the impact this responsibility has on their lives. The study involved 79 university students who were supporting friends experiencing mental health difficulties.
The report covers details about the supporters, the friends they are supporting, the supporters well-being, their needs, their experience of providing support and their approach to providing support.
The full report launched on University Mental Health Day, 3rd March 2016 and can be downloaded to the right. Scroll down to register for a roundtable discussion on the research findings.
A blog about the research has been featured on the Times Higher Education website (see right).
Student supporters know several friends experiencing mental health difficulties and are providing a substantive proportion of support...
Increasing the range and intensity of non-professional support (e.g., friends and family) available to students experiencing difficulties reduces the impact of providing support on any one individual.
Many students were supporting a friend who was not receiving any support from professional services. Supporters want more engagement with the professionals supporting their friend.
Student supporters need more support. They may likely to be experiencing their own mental health difficulties. They often feel that they don't know how best to support their friend and this is stressful. Meeting supporters needs can reduce the negative effects of poor mental health on the relationship.
Next Steps: Join the Discussion
We are inviting colleagues to join us for a roundtable discussion to consider how we might work together to think about how we can best support the supporters on university campuses. Please register your interest below.