Student Minds to be the lead charity partner for a new national research network for student mental health
What is SMaRteN?
SMaRteN is a UKRI funded national research network, led by KCL, focusing on Student Mental Health in Higher Education. The network’s aim is to connect researchers, with a range of expertise, with key stakeholders across the Higher Education sector to improve our understanding of student mental health.
The Higher Education sector has recently seen increases in the levels of mental distress among the student population. In response, we are seeing a substantive push for programmes of change. For this change to be strategic and effective, it needs to be based on solid research and evidence. One of the key asks of the Universities UK #StepChange framework is for universities to use the internal data that they have at their university, to better assess the their population, and facilitate preventative and proactive responses.
The network aims to shift the focus away from responsive counselling and support services to use data to build an understanding of what institutional and social factors contribute to distress among the student population. Using data to support a whole university approach, we expect institutions to be able to reduce levels of distress so that fewer students feel they need to access professional services.
This network is an opportunity to further build the case for investing in transforming the mental health of our university communities. The network will engage researchers with expertise in areas ranging from education to anthropology, from arts and culture to bio-informatics, from psychology to economics. We will take a new look at both the individual and institutional factors that influence student mental health.
How are Student Minds involved?
Student Minds has always worked to ensure that our work Is evidence based and driven by research. This is why we are thrilled to be the lead charity partner in the SMaRteN research network. Our founder and Chair of Trustees, Dr. Nicola Byrom is leading the network.
As a member of the network’s Management Team, our Policy Manager, Rachel Piper will work with the network to ensure that student voice is meaningfully engaged throughout the process, through a Student Led Research Team. You can read more about the team, and find out how to apply here.
Student Minds’ CEO, Rosie Tressler, will be joining international experts, including Professor Stan Kutcher and Professor Daniel Eisenberg, and UK sector leaders from Universities UK and AMOSHEE, to provide advice to the network.
Researchers, practitioners and students can join the network by filling out a form on their website.