What is ‘UMHD’?
Why is it important?
University Mental Health Day is an annual event run by ‘Student Minds’ Charity & ‘University Mental Health Advisors Network’ (UMHAN) held on the first Thursday of March. This year ‘UMHD’ is taking place on Thursday 4th March 2021.
UMHD is aimed at uniting the University community, both students & staff, to discuss student mental health and provide greater help, support and advice for mental health & wellbeing. The campaign highlights the importance of ongoing support for mental health through online resources & services whereby making this a nation-wide priority for Universities and students.
Impacts on Student Mental Health during Covid-19?
With Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions still in force, much speculation and concern has arisen around the current affairs of Universities and their students. One of the main concerns is regarding the isolation of students due to online lectures as opposed to face-to-face teaching on campus. Furthermore, with most Universities still adhering to standardized academic curriculum, despite Covid-19, student mental health has been compromised due to heightened stress without the social support networks and friend groups.
As highlighted by Student Minds (2019), around 50% of young people enter into Higher Education whereby an estimated 30% will experience some form of phycological stress whilst at University (Student Minds, 2021). Why then should there be inadequate statuary responsibilities and/or role(s) for Academia concerning student wellbeing and mental health?
The role of Academics?
What support & training is available in order to understand, recognise and identify mental health problems?
As with anyone working in a student-orientated role, it is important to understand, recognise and identify problems students may encounter whilst undertaking higher education.
Although Universities implement student services and support, it is clear that with cases rising in student mental health and wellbeing the current system(s) cannot withstand the overall demand alone. Naturally, such cases are more often than not dealt with by academia staff and volunteers.
SAFE has previously delivered Safeguarding training to University staff from institutions such as ‘Salford University’ whom undertook the course, ‘Advanced Safeguarding – Combined Adult & Child’.
If you may wish to enquire about our courses and consultancy work for staff/academics/volunteers in Higher Education, please do not hesitate to contact us.
‘The ambiguous nature of the academic role may, in effect, hide the reality of on-the-ground practice and the true frontline responsibilities that many academics feel are part of their day to day work’.
(Student Minds, 2018)
‘Academics are having frequent, complex & often challenging conversations with students about their mental health. These conversations require them to have a degree of comfort in discussing a potentially wide range of problems, the skill and insight to facilitate the conversation and to be able to provide an appropriate response.’
(Student Minds, 2018)