Connecting with good mental health

12 May 2022
A student on the University of Surrey's leafy campus.
Posted by Mike Everett, Chief Student Experience Officer

Connecting with good mental health

Reflecting on the theme of ‘loneliness’ chosen for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, it’s a reminder of the importance of connection to other people and our community. Something that has long been a focus within international education.

It’s widely recognised that students are among those typically at higher risk of mental health problems. During the pandemic research conducted in the UK showed over a quarter of students reported feeling lonely. And although that figure went down as COVID-19 restrictions eased, it still remained higher than loneliness levels in adults in general.

Don’t be lonely!

The good news is that there are plenty of simple steps we can help students take to reduce loneliness.

At Study Group we’re proud of the focus we place on supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our students.

Some examples where we offer support include:

  • Meet and greet opportunities (online and face to face) during induction and throughout the academic year for students to meet other students;
  • Peer on peer support – for example, the online meetings between Muslim students from multiple centres breaking fast during Ramadan;
  • Common interest Social and sports events – such as Durham University International Study Centre’s basketball team;
  • Welfare check ins for those that are more vulnerable.

In the UK, we also encourage students to tap into some of the brilliant resources made available by charitable organisations. The Mental Health Foundation provides A Student Guide to Loneliness and Student Minds offer a whole host of resources.

Some other sources of mental health resources around the world include:

Looking ahead

International education communities will continue to take on new forms in the future as demand for online programmes grows alongside in person teaching, so it will be essential that we keep innovating – finding new ways to make meaningful connections all around the world.

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