The library at Queen Mary University of London has created some guidelines and a toolkit for line managers to help promote the wellbeing of its staff.
This case study, submitted by Emma Mires-Richards, a Liaison Librarian at the University of Kent, describes efforts to promote a greater sense of belonging amongst students at the Templeman Library. It is also included in our list of Wellbeing Resources for Library Staff on the M25 Consortium website.
This report examines how wellbeing support services have moved online since the start of the pandemic and how digital technology (in the shape of specific apps, tools and platforms) is being used to support student and staff wellbeing. Includes case studies from a number of different UK universities.
The Museum and Study Collection at Central Saint Martins has been able to build upon its long-established practice of object-based learning to provide object-led wellbeing activities for both students and the wider community. Read about it here.
You can also hear Judy talk in more detail about object-led wellbeing in this video:
Task & Finish Group member Shupaula Mistry interviewed her colleagues in the Wellbeing team at LSBU to find out how they support both students and staff.
This key report from 2015 champions the Whole University Approach to mental health. Student mental health problems have a number of causes and require a joined-up approach to transform institutional cultures and embed mental health initiatives beyond student services.
Universities should aim to create a healthy learning and work environment for all by focusing on community, learning, living and support.
The full report is available here.
Since the early 1990s, there has been a rise in the prevalence of common mental health conditions amongst young people, particularly young women. This has coincided with a significant expansion in student numbers. A student is five times more likely to disclose a mental condition to their HEI than ten years ago. However, only 29% of universities have a mental health and wellbeing strategy and only 43% say that wellbeing is considered during course content and design.
Reasons that might explain this increase in disclosed mental health conditions include the lessening of societal stigma, the long-term underfunding of mental health care, and cuts to community-based services. For students, the academic experience has changed, with less contact time and an increased expectation that learning is ‘self-directed’. Other possible factors include increased financial pressures and the rise in the use of digital technologies.
Mental health and wellbeing issues are generally the remit of Student Services teams within universities but collaboration with other support services, students’ unions and academic departments is crucial. There should also be greater strategic leadership within universities, increased funding for support services, and better links with the NHS.
The full report is available here.
Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity. It promotes student-led activities to tackle mental health issues and aims to supports university staff deliver on a ‘whole university approach.’ Their website includes a very useful series of guides and reports which make recommendations about how universities might create a more welcoming and supportive environment for students.
Since 2002, Universities UK (UUK) has hosted a standing group on Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education (MWBHE). The group produced the Student mental wellbeing in higher education: good practice guide in 2015 and, following this, UUK adopted mental health as a proactive policy priority in 2016, launching a programme to improve the mental health of students and staff across higher education. The #stepchange website includes a framework and checklist for university managers along with some useful research data.