New statistics from the Office for National Statistics paint a grim picture of the mental state of first-year students. According to ONS, 37 percent of first-year students surveyed in England at a university have symptoms of depression and anxiety. That number is statistically higher than the general population of those aged 16-29 which is 22%. In the same survey, 21% of first year students reported that they had engaged with mental health services since September 2020. Surveying nearly 2,000 first-year students, ONS has cautioned that the results are experimental due to the small sample size. Speaking with the Guardian, Tim Gibbins, head of the student COVID-19 insights survey, the impact of the pandemic has had on students mental health is clear and needs to continue to be monitored.
Additionally, a recent study that analyses the impacts of the COVID-19 on long term health from the UK Government’s National Core Study programme has found that “mental health had deteriorated from pre-pandemic scores across all three pandemic time periods.” The study concluded that “females, those with higher degrees, and younger adults” were the most affected by the pandemic among those in the study. Universities, therefore, are at the epicenter of this mental health crisis.
Mental health concerns, coupled with rising tensions on campus and academics, only reinforce the urgent need for comprehensive student mental health support now and to prepare for the residual impacts in a post-COVID world. With Symplicity Advocate, institutions can prepare to best serve their students now and in a post COVID-19 world. Our solution helps with early intervention to proactively identify and support students who need help, ranging from mental health issues to financial advice. With automated case management, robust reporting, configurable workflows, and our unmatched client support, institutions can have all the information they need in one place to enable them to help students faster and build a safer community. This includes seeing which staff member is working with which student, setting up virtual counseling sessions, and providing students with proactive tools to help them cope through this time. Providing student wellbeing must be a top priority for all higher education institutions to ensure student success.
Register today for our upcoming webinar Student Wellbeing: A Whole University Approach and discover how Symplicity Advocate can help you help your students.