In an effort to help students navigate the pressures and uncertainties of university life, Mystudenthalls.com has launched ‘Student well-being: a guide to building better mental health in university’. The guide was created to help students manage their wellbeing and mental health, and the added challenges brought on by the pandemic.
In the guide, Dr Dominique Thompson, GP and young people’s mental health expert, explores key issues affecting students such as loneliness, financial wellbeing, social media, alcohol, academic performance and student living. The practical guide aims to address the topics which are key stressors for students during the pandemic and offers advice and tips as well as further resources to help them deal with these issues.
Research has shown that higher numbers of students have felt lonely living under lockdown with 44% of those aged 18-24 saying they have experienced loneliness. There has also been an increase in alcohol consumption among young adults. The guide offers methods of dealing with the feeling of loneliness, managing alcohol intake in a healthy way and coping with the effects of social media on our emotions.
After a year of disruption to academic life, Dr Thompson also advises students “to focus less on what has been missed, and more on what has been gained that can be brought to the workplace alongside their academic achievements”.
The guide also looks at student life after the pandemic and considers that some students will find “reintegrating especially challenging” and “not everyone will want to leap into living, working, and partying together at the same speed” once restrictions are lifted.
Dr Thompson has been a student GP for 17 years and specialises in mental health and wellbeing. She has launched her own student wellbeing consultancy, Buzz Consulting, and is the author of four mental health books for students.
She told Cherwell: “If [students] are concerned about alcohol (lots of people, not just students have ’self medicated’ their anxiety with alcohol this year) or if they find flatmates stressful, I hope they will turn to the guide and search for the answers we have suggested, to ease their worry. They can also share the guide with friends, or family members might want to send it to students they know. It will be useful for all students, not just those who are stressed or anxious!”
She added: “As with all my work I very much hope this guide will reduce anxiety and uncertainty, reassure students that they are not alone in facing these issues, and most importantly that there is always something they can do to help themselves and someone to talk to if it’s all a bit much.”
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