Let’s help our fellow learners thrive
Published on 16 March 2021
2nd year History & Politics student John Fleming is working with Thriving Learners, a large-scale study into Scottish student mental health. Here, he shares his reasons for getting involved and why he believes his fellow students should take part.
I know that mental health is an issue that is extremely important to us students. I’m glad to not have experienced more serious issues with my own mental health, but like all of us, I know that university life and study can be made so much harder if we are struggling with it. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected us all so much, this was one of the biggest challenges facing universities and their students and that was why I volunteered to help when I heard about Thriving Learners, the first large-scale study looking at student mental health in Scotland.
I am part of the study’s Learner Advisory Group and want to encourage as many Dundee students as possible to take part to help bring about positive changes in mental health provision at this and other universities. The University of Dundee has also fully endorsed the project, which aims to empower Scottish students to help develop new mental health initiatives.
The first phase of the study aims to gather insights regarding best practice in prevention, early intervention, and support of emotional wellbeing. The evidence collected will be used to inform change in services within universities. This survey really does matter. By taking part we can make a difference.
Mental health support is important for everyone, but there are a number of particular challenges that students face including moving to a totally new and different environment, leaving family and friends behind, making new connections, managing a household for the first time, and balancing studies, work and their personal life. All of this has been exacerbated by the pandemic, with stress and loneliness on the rise as well as a reduction in personal connections and social events due to restrictions.
I really believe that the Thriving Learners survey can help current and future students with our mental health, and this is the best way of making a difference in this area. The deadline for entries is Wednesday 31 March, and you can take part at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/thrivinglearners/.
All participants will be entered into a prize draw, with vouchers worth £75 (x2) and £50 on offer for students at each university.
I would also like to remind you to please seek help if you have been experiencing mental health problems. I myself have used the University’s counselling service before, and I found that it really helped me through a time when I was struggling. On top of this, there are many other services the University offers, such as Peer Connections, and more information about mental health support currently available to Dundee students can be found at https://www.dundee.ac.uk/guides/getting-help-mental-health.
2nd year History & Politics
+44 (0)1382 384768G.Hill@dundee.ac.uk