‘74% of students say Covid-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing’ - Student Minds shares latest report University Mental Health: Life in a Pandemic.
Today we are pleased to be sharing the findings of our insights and listening work with higher education communities throughout 2020 and 2021, in our latest report ‘University Mental Health: Life in a Pandemic’.
At the beginning of the pandemic, back in March 2020, Student Minds began a period of listening. We gathered insights from across the higher education (HE) and health sectors in order to best understand what HE communities were experiencing and what impact the pandemic was having on mental health and wellbeing. Since then, we have built on our insights and listening work through the launch of Student Space and through our own primary research, undertaken in April-May 2021 in partnership with Alterline. Through our own research, we found:
Our findings are explored throughout the report, which covers topics including (but not limited to): the Black and Minority Ethnic Experience in the last year, Women’s Safety at University, accommodation, finances, experiences of online learning, staff wellbeing, and access to support.
Overall, the report highlights the unique, wide-ranging and unequal impacts of the pandemic on HE staff and students across the country. We’ve seen all aspects of students’ lives be disrupted, including their education, living arrangements, employment opportunities and social connectedness. Staff have also been faced with challenges such as increased workloads, the shift to remote working and adapting to a new work/life balance.
However, despite these significant impacts, we believe that together we can find positive ways forwards. Colleagues in universities, students’ unions, schools, colleges, government, the NHS and beyond can all play a role in supporting recent, current and future university students and create HE communities which are positive environments for individuals to thrive.
The report includes a set of policy recommendations, aimed at supporting the higher education and health sectors to move beyond the pandemic positively including:
We hope that our learnings, reflections and recommendations are useful and insightful, whatever your student status or role. We wrote the report with the aim of ensuring the student voice is heard and understood, and are grateful for the interest the report has already received from colleagues across the sector.
Read the report in full, or read a summary of our findings and recommendations: www.studentminds.org.uk/lifeinapandemic.html
To access support, visit www.studentspace.org.uk