How to Improve Student Wellbeing: 5 Ways to Enhance Student Mental Health

Student wellbeing is just as important as academic achievement. In higher education, students develop resilience and flourish when they face challenges as they prepare for their future careers. However, the pressure can often lead to stress-related mental health conditions, so it’s important to look at innovative ways to promote student wellbeing in your institution.

To get you started, here are five ways to improve student wellbeing with some ideas you can implement.

  1. Promote Services and Resources
  2. Introduce Mindfulness Lessons
  3. Implement Training Sessions for your Staff
  4. Organise Events
  5. Foster Partnerships

Promote Services and Resources

The wellbeing services and resources you have are a good start. However, make sure you promote them through emails, the student portal or even the prospectus. This will make students aware they have internal and external services they can use and resources they can utilise. If they remain hidden, they might be unaware of the options available to them.


Introduce Mindfulness Lessons

For higher education students, their days can feel a little ‘non-stop’ with all of the hustle and bustle. The assignments, lectures, seminars and workshops could potentially pile on additional pressure to achieve high grades. To combat this, introducing mindfulness lessons which focus on breathing and worrying less can be beneficial.

The Department for Education is also funding a major project to find effective ways to promote positive mental health which you can take inspiration from. One of the five approaches they’re trialling is mindfulness. Although this is being trialled in schools, you can create something similar for higher education students.

Consider adopting mindfulness drop-in sessions or creating stress-busting workshops which will aid students. You can use these sessions to promote the importance of taking breaks from their busy schedules. 


Implement Training Sessions for Your Staff

Teaching staff and tutors are constantly on the front line, so they’re likely to be the first to witness wellbeing warning signs and concerns. However, they have a much better chance of noticing them when they know precisely what it is they’re looking for. To support faculty, invest in thorough training.

Make sure training sessions aren’t a one-off either. As things can change quickly, ensuring training is regular with up-to-date information is vital. Identify everyone in your institution who requires this training and ensure they can access it to provide them with the knowledge they need to support students.

It can also be worthwhile looking into events and external training where they can pick up valuable insight to help support students.


Organise Events

Wellbeing sessions don’t always need to be one-on-one or drop-in sessions. Another way to promote student wellbeing is to organise events and group sessions so students have others they can talk to.

Along with promoting your services and resources, promote any wellbeing events you organise as well so students know what support is available to them and will sign-up. Tea and talk, yoga, cake and chat sessions, mentor/buddy programmes – there are many types of events you could host. Both students and staff can share any difficulties they’re facing so they can work on solutions together.

To make it a success, host these events outside of busy hours. If these events happen at suitable times, it makes them more accessible for students.


Foster Partnerships

Thankfully, there are many charities and organisations dedicated to promoting mental health and making it more accessible. If you want to offer extra support, then your institution can work in conjunction with them and create partnerships to help coordinate efforts and improve wellbeing services.

It means you’ll not only have your own services and resources, but also an on-campus organisation that can further your efforts to provide a seamless student experience.

With these ideas, you can help students to seek the relevant help they need – when they need it. For students to know you’re taking the steps to promote awareness on the topic and also help them in their time of need helps to create a better experience.

As it’s one of your priorities, we’ve also created a guide on how to improve the overall student experience in higher education.

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