Online mental health support for university students can offer extra help to those affected by the pandemic, finds a report produced by the Centre for Mental Health.
Student Space is an online mental health resource that was developed in 2020 by the mental health charity Student Minds. An independent report has found that the platform offered high-quality mental health information, advice, and support to students when support networks were limited and access to well-being services was restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
University students are particularly vulnerable to mental health difficulties as they’re often navigating a highly stressful environment, as well as being introduced to the ‘adult world’ for the first time away from the support networks of home. The problem is so severe that many universities have a ‘talk’ during orientation on how to spot the signs that a fellow student is exhibiting behaviours linked to declining mental health.
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Finding high-quality mental health support has never been easier
Student Space works to support students in three ways:
- Providing access to dedicated support services, including tailored support for specific groups of students.
- Publishing information, resources, and student lived experience stories on navigating life.
- Helping students to find support at their university.
The report determined that Student Space offers a high-quality, rapid response to a crisis when it was set up in 2020 and provides robust evidence-based information.
Beyond the scope of the pandemic, the platform has been recommended by the Centre for Mental Health for additional funding to continue providing services.
Sarah Hughes, Centre for Mental Health chief executive, commented: "The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people's mental health. Students have faced major challenges over the last two years. Many have faced isolation, trauma and loss, which may cast a long shadow over their lives. Student Space has offered a place of hope for students who are concerned about their mental health and need to know where to go for support. Our report shows the value of this resource and why it is still needed in the aftermath of the crisis."