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Initiative to address student mental ill-health

A new initiative launched this month by international social development organisation the SESA Community and UK education consultancy IC Bassett Consulting is looking to “address the rising tide of mental ill-health by empowering students to take charge of their own wellbeing”.

ResilientmeMental health issues among students are on the rise in the UK. Photo: iStock

Over half of students’ mental health is worse than before the pandemic

Working with further and higher education providers, business sponsors and social investors, the ResilientMe Initiative will be rolled out across 11 regions in the UK to provide students “access to a dedicated community and ongoing support” focusing on preventing the development of mental illness in students rather than treating issues after they arise.

“We’re moving focus and activity back down the timeline – building skills that prevent, rather than trying to repair damage from a tip-over into mental illness,” said Ian Bassett, managing director of IC Bassett Consulting and the initiative’s co-founder.

ResilientMe will digitally connect with SESA’s international experts, self-development resources and facilitated activities and peer support networks.

“Quite simply, resilience is not just about weathering a storm, it’s about becoming emotionally skilled at coping with life’s stresses and strains,” added SESA Ecosystem founder Jay Baughan.

“This current focus on youth mental health interventions is proven to be both ineffective and unsustainable”

“This current focus on youth mental health interventions is proven to be both ineffective and unsustainable, with the medical profession screaming for preventative solutions.”

In January 2020 the Office for Students said that the number of students who report mental health issues has “risen substantially over the last decade”, a trend that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. International students around the world have reported increased mental health problems due to the stress of border closures and visa processing delays.

According to a survey in December 2020 by the UK’s National Union of Students over half of students’ mental health was worse than before the pandemic.

“It is deeply troubling that students are not getting the support that the need, with only 29 percent of those reporting worse mental health accessing services,” said NUS National President Larissa Kennedy.

The NUS has additionally called on governments “to fund university, college and NHS mental health services to ensure all students can get the support they require”. Students’ unions also need greater investment to continue to provide essential services to students.

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