Students & anxiety – Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

In a recent survey, 48% of students surveyed indicated that anxiety had affected their day-to-day life. Why are students struggling with anxiety? How can we help them? Read on to find out more.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 is taking place from 15 to 21 May. This annual event aims to tackle stigma and to help people understand and prioritise their and others’ mental health.  

This year the theme is anxiety and it’s a pressing concern. In March 2023, the Mental Health Foundation worked with Opinium to conduct an online survey of 6,000 adults (aged 18+) to look at anxiety in the UK population.

73% of those surveyed had felt anxious at least ‘sometimes’ in the previous two weeks, and 20% had felt anxious ‘most’ or ‘all of the time’. 

Students and anxiety

The survey found that some groups of people are more likely to be affected by anxiety than others. Sadly, this includes students.

35% of students surveyed said that anxiety stops them from doing what they’d like to or need to ‘all of the time’ or ‘most of the time’. 40% of students with anxiety felt they were coping ‘not very well’ or ‘not at all well’ with their condition.

The mental health charity, Mind, states that anxiety disorders are one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health problems for students.  

But that’s not the whole story

Student Minds/Alterline surveyed 1,037 students in November 2022 with the aims of better understanding the current state of student mental health and exploring the factors which contribute to students’ mental health and wellbeing.   

They found that over half of students surveyed said they had a current mental health issue, and a quarter said they had a current, diagnosed mental health issue. 30% of students surveyed felt their mental health had got worse since beginning university.  

Why are students anxious?

Clearly all students are individuals and mental health issues are complex, but there are some common factors.

According to Student Minds, in 2022/23 students’ anxiety centred around: performing well in coursework, exams and assessments; keeping up with study; managing time; managing money, and juggling study and paid employment.  

In fact, money is increasingly a source of anxiety for students. 59% of those surveyed said it was a cause of stress ‘often’ or ‘all of the time’, compared to 46% in 2020/21.   

How can we help them?

How can higher education partners support students with anxiety and other mental health conditions?  

Kortext facilitates content access and engagement for over 2 million students at more than 4,000 institutions worldwide. We’re a trusted university partner and, as such, we’re invested in student wellbeing.  

We understand how mental health can impact on the student experience. Here at Kortext, we don’t claim to be mental health experts, but we can join with those who are in order to make a difference.  

Student Minds

Kortext is proud to work with Student Minds, the UK’s leading student mental health charity. Our financial support (and that of other corporate partners) enables Student Minds to achieve their objectives.   

The charity was founded in 2009 and since its inception it has been a student-led movement, empowering students to look after their own — and their peers’ — mental health.

Peer support is vital, as students with a current or past mental health issue are more likely confide in friends at university (35%) than they are to talk to a university support service (25%) or a personal tutor/supervisor/mentor (25%).   

Student Space

Kortext includes a direct link to Student Space (Student Minds’ information and support hub) through the bookshelf in our smart study platform, Arcturus 

Student Space provides information and advice to help students manage the challenges of university life (including money worries). There are links to access dedicated support services for students, such as 24/7 text messaging.  

There’s also a searchable database enabling students to find out what mental health support is available at their university. This is crucial, as 26% of students surveyed said they didn’t know where to get help for mental health issues at their institution.

You are not alone

If you’re a student experiencing anxiety, or any other mental health condition, you are not alone. Reach out to the support services at your university (you can check what’s available here if you’re not sure) or to Student Minds.  

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