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University Students’ Mental Wellbeing

What’s on offer?

Thinking about going to university next year, or maybe you have just started? Have you thought about your mental wellbeing? Have you thought about how your university environment (e.g. the university size, amount of academic support available, availability of sports, etc.) might affect your mental wellbeing? Have you thought about how your social identities (i.e. your gender, social class, sexuality, ethnicity, etc.) may also contribute to your mental wellbeing at University? Researchers from the Surrey Institute of Education are exploring these questions in their 'Student Wellbeing and Life Outcomes Project' (#StudentWellLives), which has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). In this event, they will explore these questions with you to try and reach some conclusions about how best to support all students' mental wellbeing at University. 

What’s it about?

This is an interactive event about the possible reasons why different students experience mental health issues, and how they can get better support during their time at university. We will provide the audience with short videos/snapshots of our research and discuss interventions that could help different students enhance their wellbeing. In one of the activities at the event, participants will be given the beginnings to hypothetical stories of young people entering university. They will then have the opportunity to shape these hypothetical journeys of mental wellbeing as part of a story chain. We will collectively reflect on how these students' lives might be enhanced through making different decisions as they progress through university.

We have also launched an online image and caption competition to help raise awareness about student mental health and wellbeing. To enter, please post a photo/image with a brief caption on Instagram or Twitter based around the following question: “what does wellbeing mean for you at university?”. There will be a prize for the best image! Competition terms and conditions can be found here:

Who’s leading the event?

Dr Kieran Balloo, Research Fellow in the Surrey Institute of Education at the University of Surrey and Co-Investigator of the Student Wellbeing and Life Outcomes Project

Dr Anesa Hosein, Senior Lecturer in the Surrey Institute of Education at the University of Surrey and Principal Investigator of the Student Wellbeing and Life Outcomes Project

We also hope to have postgraduate students present with us.

Open to

Adults and Young People

Of particular interest to

Of particular interest to young people who are thinking of attending university or have just started and their parents or guardians. This event will also be of interest to higher education organisations and the national media, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Introduction to StudentWellLives

Introduction to the ESRC funded #StudentWellLives project at The University of Surrey

Video transcript

00:00 This is Meena. She is from a British Indian background and grew up in a high-income neighbourhood. 00:07 Here’s Sean. He is from a White Irish background and low-income neighbourhood. 00:12 And Jane is from a White British background and middle-income neighbourhood. 00:18 When they reached adulthood, Jane went straight into work 00:22 whereas Meena went to the University of Northland 00:25 and Sean went to the University of Forthamshire. 00:28 During university, Sean experienced anxiety. 00:34 Years later, Meena and Sean both have careers. 00:38 But, did Sean’s anxiety during university affect his education and employment outcomes? 00:44 Was his anxiety specifically due to being at the University of Forthamshire? 00:49 And did his social background play a part? 00:53 The Student Wellbeing and Life Outcomes project traces the journeys of 4000 university students 00:59 like Meena and Sean, to understand how their mental health and wellbeing affects their life outcomes 01:05 and how these journeys compare to the lives of 4000 young people, like Jane, who did not go to university. 01:14 Working with our partners, the project aims to inform future mental health and wellbeing policies 01:19 to better support young people in their life journeys. 01:23 Follow us on Twitter and subscribe to project updates, including upcoming events, on the website...

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