The 2021-2022 school year has officially begun and with that a wave of excitement to return to some normalcy, but also a wave of worry. The COVID-19 pandemic brought on a big set of challenges as students, faculty, and staff were facing significant disruptions to campus life. As universities prepare for the influx of students who haven't been required to take an exam for two years, barely left the house, missed out on crucial social experiences, along with additional burdens of the pandemic universities are preparing for an unusual autumn term. This means that universities are welcoming back essentially two first year students: those who never got their “real” first year on campus and those who completed their last year of secondary school during lockdown.
The challenges of the past year and a half have meant that institutions need to invest in new solutions to support student’s changing needs for mental health. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics found that three in ten students have engaged with mental health and wellbeing services since last autumn. In May, the Office of Students’ (OfS) survey found that only 42 percent of students felt that there was enough done to help them during the peak of the pandemic, highlighting the continued need for good quality mental health support.
The UK’s Higher Education Policy institute (Hepi) reported in April that 63 percent of students said “their mental health was worse as a result of the pandemic” and just over 38 percent of students were “satisfied with the delivery of mental health services.” These statistics provide a clear picture that students entering uni this September need the robust support of their university to ensure a successful first term and go on to a successful year.
Mental health concerns, coupled with rising tensions on campus and academics, only reinforces 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.