University of Kent ranks at number 7 in the UK for prioritizing student mental health and wellbeing.
What is #UniMentalHealthDay
University Mental Health Day on 9 March 2023 calls upon all universities to prioritize student mental health. Run by Student Minds and the University Mental Health Advisers Network (UMHAN), the day focuses on mental health in the Higher and Further Education sectors.
While university is certainly an exciting time, being away from home in an unfamiliar environment can be overwhelming. Academic and social pressures and financial worries can create numerous challenges for students. Further, international students may face additional stressors, challenges and barriers to access, including difficulty fitting in, feelings of isolation and alienation, culture shock, acculturative stress, pressure to succeed, language barriers, cultural barriers and potential discrimination.
In 2021, the messaging support service Shout 85258 took conversations with 27,600 students in higher education seeking support for their mental health. Common issues included anxiety, depression, concerns about loneliness, relationships, workload and finances. Similarly, a YouGov survey suggests that more than a quarter of students (27%) report having to deal with a mental health issue.
Studies have also shown that international students may be less likely to seek support for their mental health than local learners. The reasons for this might be the stigmatization of mental illness within some cultures, fears about whether seeking help will affect visas or enrolment (sidenote: it won’t), or simply lack of clear communication about support systems available.
Student Mental Health Support at Kent
According to the Humen University Mental Health League Table 2022, a one-year study analysing how universities prioritise student wellbeing, University of Kent ranks at number 7 in the UK (out of 80 universities studied).
The University offers a wide range of Student Support and Wellbeing services.
For emergency support, there are a number of options available, from external providers to on-site nursing services and the medical centre.
Spectrum Life, a University of Kent partner organisation, offers 24/7 online, text and telephone support from qualified counsellors and professionals. They can work with you to organise initial support and liaise with the University to continue supporting you.
Togetherall is another University of Kent partner organisation providing 24/7 online mental health support. It offers a safe environment managed by qualified therapists. Through the service, you can access peer support networks and forums, creative therapies, guided groups and brief counselling.
You can also access free confidential counselling services at any time during your studies. Counselling provides a safe space to talk through any issues of concern about your life. It’s available in person, via zoom, via instant chat or via email. You can talk about how you are adjusting to university life or any areas of concern such as study pressures, traumatic experiences, sexuality, illness or low self-esteem. What you talk about doesn’t have to be related to your University life.
And don’t miss the extensive programme of events run by Student Support and Wellbeing throughout the year. Whether it’s mindfulness sessions, social clubs or wellbeing groups, drop-in centres, or nature-inspired events, there’s something for everyone!
This #UniMentalHealthDay, make sure to prioritize your mental health. Student Support and Wellbeing have a series of events running throughout March designed to help you put your mental health first!