Wellbeing in higher education

This resource brings together, and builds on, the evidence base for improving wellbeing in higher education. 

Research

 

Find ongoing and recent research. 

 

Practice examples

 

What are universities doing to improve wellbeing and mental health?

 

Evidence

 

How can you take evidence-informed action? 

 

Current and recent research

Select your search criteria and press the filter button to search. Tell us about new and relevant research.

 

Issue
Who's affected?
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The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) provides England’s National Statistics for the monitoring of mental illness and treatment access in the household population. A range of mental disorders, substance disorders and self-harm behaviours is covered. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/adult-psychiatric-morbidity-survey…

In two nationally representative surveys of U.S. adolescents in grades 8 through 12 (N = 506,820) and national statistics on suicide deaths for those ages 13 to 18, adolescents’ depressive symptoms, suicide-related outcomes, and suicide rates increased between 2010 and 2015, especially among females. Adolescents who spent more time on new media (including social media and electronic devices such as smartphones) were more likely to report mental health issues, and adolescents who spent more time on nonscreen activities (in-person social interaction, sports/exercise, homework, print media, and attending religious services) were less likely. Since 2010, iGen adolescents have spent more t…

The results of this systematic review suggest that university students experience rates of depression that are substantially higher than those found in the general population. Study quality has not improved since 1990. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23260171…

Exploring postvention support needs and roles for staff in higher education following a student suicide. Author: Hilary Causer. Research ongoing.…

University wellbeing practice examples

This map shows the current practice examples for higher education. Contact us to tell us about what your university is doing to improve wellbeing.

MOVING FROM COUNSELLING-ONLY TO WELLBEING SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS: BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY

Restructuring student support services to create a more integrate, proactive system.

A coordinated collaborative approach to wellbeing: KCLSU

Creating a Wellbeing Coordinator role to support a happier and healthier student community.

Know before you go: Mental health and transitions into university

Providing evidence-based resources to support students in vulnerable transition periods. 

Mental Health Toolkit: Newcastle University

Improving signposting to student support services.

University of Worcester ‘Suicide Safer’ Project

Developing a multi-faceted suicide prevention model to contribute to a ‘Suicide safer’ University and city.

A warmer welcome: Derby University

Changing typical ‘service induction’ sessions to increase belonging.

In partnership with:

Evidence: what do we know?

Across our lives

The biggest drivers of adult wellbeing (16 years and up) are:

  1. Emotional and physical health
  2. Partner relationship
  3. Employment

Find out more about the Centre’s work on lifelong wellbeing

Culture and sport

Mental health treatment, early intervention

Learning

Evidence from the What Works Centre for Wellbeing:

Evidence from other sources:

Financial wellbeing and capability

Evaluating

YOUNGER ADULTS EXPERIENCE POORER MENTAL HEALTH, LONELINESS AND UNEMPLOYMENT

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), compared to older people, young people in the UK (broadly from 16 to 24) are more likely to:

REPORT more SYMPTOMS OF MENTAL ILL HEALTH

REPORT LONELINESS MORE FREQUENTLY

FEEL THEY HAVE NO-ONE TO RELY ON OR A SENSE OF BELONGING IN THEIR NEIGHBOURHOOD

BE MORE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

HAVE HIGHER RATES OF UNEMPLOYMENT

be MORE SATISFIED WITH THEIR PHYSICAL HEALTH

This matters both at an individual level and for society as a whole, in terms of how well we will be able to sustain high levels of national wellbeing into the future.

Get updates

WE’RE CARRYING OUT RESEARCH TO BUILD THE EVIDENCE BASE.

Take 10 seconds to sign up and receive updates as soon as new evidence and case studies emerge. Topics we’ll be reviewing include: loneliness; local service integration; institutional community wellbeing; and further education  and other learning institutions.

Who’s affected?

What are you doing to improve wellbeing?

Tell us what about your projects, activities and policies that aim to improve wellbeing within universities. It could be the first steps of a trial, or an established approach with proven results. Get in touch and we’ll follow up to fin[[d out what worked, what the learning was, and how other universities could take it forward.

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