The number of students reporting mental health problems has increased dramatically in recent years, and the signs are that it will continue to rise further. For most students, their first steps into higher education will be some of the most challenging times they have faced. Most will be dealing with new-found independence, along with the challenges of balancing their academic work, new financial pressures, and building new social relationships. For many, the pressures can deeply affect their mental health, and for others who are already dealing with difficult mental health problems they can find themselves struggling. Very often, students are unwilling to speak out, whether that is due to stigma, concerns about the consequences of asking for help, or simply embarrassment.
This white paper examines the results of our recent surveys on student mental health and asks how Faculty members can support their students, offering advice on dealing with stigma, guiding students into good self-care practices and understanding the best way of sign-posting students to professional help when needed.