This partnership is particularly important as this year’s annual National Student Survey, run by the Office for Students, found that more than half of UK university and college students feel their mental wellbeing has not been supported enough this year. While what is really needed is for universities and government to increase funding and availability of resources, students don’t always know where to go for help, with only 29 percent of students reporting worse mental health since the pandemic accessing services.
Student Minds was founded in 2009 with a focus on early prevention, and training students, university staff and sports societies to support themselves and others in a wide range of mental health issues. The charity’s aim is to change the culture around mental health by creating awareness through national campaigns and providing training across university campuses.
During Covid-19, Student Minds created an online hub called Student Space to provide additional support for students struggling with anxiety, isolation and health and study worries related to the pandemic. Student Space signposts students to national support services, useful information and a direct 24/7 text support service.
Through our partnership, we have been able to link our students to this vital service directly through the Kortext platform when they need it most. Randstad Student Support found that 64% of students report studies and university lifestyle impacted their state of mental wellbeing negatively; a large part of this being due to deadline and exam stress. And while a bit of stress during exam period is normal, NHS Choices, 2016 states that when stress becomes overwhelming, lasts for a long time or affects our daily life, it can become a mental health problem. Mind charity has also suggested that being a student increases the risk of developing a mental health problem due to stress from study, age and lack of support.
For this reason, it is important for us as a company in the higher education sector to … empathise with students during their academic journey. Whilst mental health is somewhat being destigmatised as of late, there is still a lack of conversation around having poor mental health, the different symptoms felt and their subsequent effect on physical health and academic performance.
By donating to and partnering with Student Minds – a charity dedicated to empowering students with the skills to manage their mental health – our students will have a direct link to mental health resources directly through their textbooks.
We hope to at least help students manage their stress, while funding important campaigns that create awareness and put pressure on universities and government.
It is also clear that research on this topic is important in tackling mental health issues faced by students;
Ben West, a recent graduate, said:
This report shines a vital light on the areas which universities must improve to better support all students, many of whom have spent the last year feeling forgotten and ignored.
The report in question that Ben was commenting on was this survey from July 2021, which found that 4 in 10 students report a deterioration in their mental health since starting university.
Kortext are proud to support the brilliant work Student Minds do and look forward to working with them over the next year to improve access and awareness around student mental health. We are already planning, with support from the charity team, staff fundraising and engagement activities to raise further funds and draw attention to issues students are facing and solutions to support them, so look out for these in the coming months!
If you’re a student struggling with issues related to mental health currently you can visit Student Minds for free information, advice and national support services.