A study into UK student mental health – believed to be the largest of its kind – will be launched this autumn by higher education research specialist Alterline and will be supported by the National Union of Students (NUS).
Twelve university student unions, representing more than 185,000 students, will be taking part in the study to explore the prevalence and range of mental health issues among the student population.
The study will also explore the impact of mental health issues on students' personal and academic lives, identify if there are institutional or personal factors that put some students more at risk than others and understand what support students are currently receiving and what is missing.
The core of the study will be a large-scale quantitative survey carried out across all of the unions. This will be supported by qualitative work including personal diaries, in-depth one-to-one interviews and focus groups.
The student unions taking part are:
- Aston University students' union
- Staffordshire University students' union
- University of Lincoln students' union
- Nottingham Trent University students' union
- University of Bolton students' union
- University of Liverpool students' union
- University of Bath students' union
- University of Bristol students' union
- University of Northampton students' union
- Robert Gordon University students' union
- University of Chichester students' union
- University of Salford students' union
Sam Budd, CEO at University of Bristol students’ union, said: “Having worked with Alterline before, we have seen the value that high-quality research can bring. Supporting our students is one of our main priorities and mental health is an important part of that support.”
This study was launched after recent research by Alterline found that mental health was a top priority for students: a quarter of more than 17,000 students across 18 institutions said that mental health support should be one of the top three things that students’ unions campaign on.
The study will take place this autumn with the final report expected to be published in early 2018.