PhD student mental health and wellbeing
Research England are supporting research into the wellbeing and mental health of postgraduate students. The work involves an in-depth study of a sample of English higher education institutions and intends to:
- depict the landscape of mental health support offered to post-graduates and identify any barriers that hinder access;
- provide insights into how these findings may vary by student and study characteristics and whether any subgroups may be at higher risk; and
- make recommendations for future research to inform policy interventions to improve this aspect of the higher education experience.
alongside undertaking this study, the former HEFCE issued a catalyst call inviting applications for projects from institutions with post-graduate student populations, to develop and implement sustainable approaches to supporting mental health and wellbeing for these students.
Proposed projects covered a range of areas including:
- prevention and early intervention approaches which reach a broad range of students;
- developing and implementing new practice for the pastoral support;
- enhanced staff training across the institution;
- working in partnership with statutory health services and third-party organisations to deliver improved support; and
- considering the whole postgraduate researcher experience and cultural change rather than focusing solely on student service-based interventions.