13 Suggestions to Supporting Students Mental Health and Wellbeing
According to the American College Health Association, more than one-half of U.S. college students reported feeling insufficient physical and emotional health in their lives while attending college. It also reported that insufficient support in students mental health and wellbeing often results in students experiencing anxiety or stress. Since this is common among college students, there are ways that colleges around the world can implement measures to create a more comfortable campus for students. One of the main steps that colleges should take is coming up with ways for students to be more active on campuses so they can get rid of depression. According to The American College Health Association, one in five college students has activity levels considered insufficient by national standards, which means they participate in less than 20 minutes of vigorous exercise per day. Therefore, colleges should encourage students to be more active by coming up with ways for students to enjoy being active.
One way to make campuses more comfortable for students is making them feel safe using the campus’s surroundings. When college campuses are unsafe, many students will not want to go outside or into certain areas of campus because they fear for their safety. Therefore, colleges should make their campuses as safe as possible for students to even go outside and enjoy the outdoors or enter buildings such as libraries. Below are some steps you could follow to make a safe campus for the students
According to the writers at Essays.uk: It’s estimated that 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health issue this year. That’s a lot of people who are suffering in silence. Mental health awareness is key to reducing the stigma attached to these illnesses. By talking openly about mental health we can help break down the barriers that have been preventing people from getting the help they need.
Promoting Students Mental Health and Wellbeing
13 ways lecturers and professors can support students mental health during an event
Ensure that someone is clearly and visibly in charge of the event
What this means: Let everyone know who is in control at all times. This person should be easily identifiable so students can find them when they need to speak with them or address any concerns or issues they might have.
Create a separate location for support staff
What this means: If you are having a large event, make sure there is a place for support staff to go if they need to leave the main area of the event. This will ensure students who are feeling overwhelmed have somewhere to go without interrupting the flow of the event.
Choose speakers who can clearly communicate their message
What this means: Make sure your speakers have a way to communicate with students. If they are going to be speaking from the back of a pickup truck, make sure that it is a different vehicle than the one transporting students or that they have a system of communication worked out with the driver.
Consider your audience and their needs
What this means: If you are planning an event for young people, consider their need for information about sex and drugs. Making sure they have access to these resources might be better than just assuming students know how to get it on their own.
Pick speakers who will promote the best possible image of your college
What this means: When choosing speakers, consider who they are and their message. For example, if you were planning a rally for children, you probably don’t want Snoop Dogg as your headliner.
Ensure that students with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of the event
What this means: If the goal of your event is to get people excited about your university, make sure they can access events easily by ensuring there are ramps for wheelchairs. This will help create a welcoming atmosphere for all students, so they want to learn more about the school.
Make sure your speakers have access to an electrical source if needed
What this means: When planning your event, make sure that your speakers have a way to connect their phones or other devices if they need to use a projector. This might mean ensuring there are electrical outlets available. If you do not have electrical outlets readily available during your event, ask the staff in the area so they can be aware of the situation and plan accordingly.
Make sure you have a plan in case of an emergency
What this means: At every event, there should be a way to communicate if someone needs immediate assistance. This is especially important at large events with several hundred students where it might take some time for staff to respond.
Ensure that bathrooms are well lit and clear of obstructions
What this means: If you are planning an event on your college campus, make sure the bathrooms are well lit and clear of any obstacles. Also, be aware of how many stalls there will be so students know where they can go if needed in a hurry.
Make sure your speakers have access to water in case they get dry mouth
What this means: If you plan to have speakers at your event, make sure they have access to water if they feel dry mouth coming on. This can help them communicate their message without worrying about speech impediments.
Always provide a way for students who cannot participate in the event to take part in some way
What this means: During your event, always provide a way for students who are unable to participate in the physical action of the event to still feel included. This could be as simple as providing an online tracker of what is happening at the event, or it could mean having someone come around with microphones to gather opinions from those who cannot physically attend.
Be considerate of the environment in which you are speaking
What this means: If your event is being held near a place where students frequently eat, be aware that noise from your speakers could impact their ability to study or enjoy time with friends after they have finished classes for the day.
Make sure that everyone has food options to fit their dietary needs
What this means: If your event is during meal times, make sure you have food options for students who might be fasting or following different diets like gluten-free or vegan. These groups of students should not feel discriminated against when they are hungry and attending your event.
Unicef: 8 ways teachers can support students mental health during COVID-19 school returns
University of California, Berkeley: How Colleges Today Are Supporting Student Mental Health
Victoria State Government, Education, and Training: Supporting students mental health and wellbeing & Promoting mental health and wellbeing in your school
London’s Global University: Supporting students mental health and wellbeing