The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically impacted students’ day-to-day lives and many will be facing new challenges to their mental health.
In response, the OfS has made up to £3 million available for Student Minds to lead the development of a new targeted programme of support. The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) have also contributed funding to the project to cover regulated instutitions in Wales.
The programme is designed to complement the mental health support already in place in universities, colleges and the NHS – filling potential gaps in provision and ensuring that all students have access to support they need.
The content has been developed in response to student need, with services based on ongoing evaluation and assessment. Ongoing needs analysis will aim to understand the impact of coronavirus on different student groups, so that services and resources will be inclusive and targeted to the needs students most vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic.
New online platform
With this funding, Student Minds have produced a new online platform called Student Space.
This resource provides preventative support and immediate interventions. Student Space seeks to limit the mental health impact of the pandemic on students and deliver high quality support where it is most needed – for example, for those who have experienced distress or trauma resulting from the pandemic, through:
- offering immediate help for students in distress through therapeutic interventions
- providing educational resources to help students manage stress and maintain good mental health and wellbeing
- curating a range of quality-assured online resources, such as guidance, apps, peer support platforms, and volunteering opportunities.
The platform is available to all 2.3 million students from OfS-registered providers in England and from regulated Welsh institutions.
The programme will run for six months, from July to December 2020. Student Minds plan for many of the resources to be useful well beyond the initial six-month period.
Read more about the funding