With rising attrition and declining student mental health, peer support is a growing area of interest for many higher education institutions. Despite being a readily used term, its meaning differs according to the institution running the programme, making it difficult to share best practice in the sector. The aim of this work is to create a shared language and understanding of peer support so that universities can improve their peer support structures in a consistent and strategic way.
Many factors suggested as causing student mental distress (like the transition from home/school to university) have been true for generations of students, so are unlikely to explain why reported distress has increased.
That’s why, in our research, we’re exploring what has changed in young people’s lives that might explain the increase. We’re focusing in particular on what is happening to young people before they go to university – and would welcome any feedback on this from fellow researchers.
We are using this blog to help connect stakeholders across Higher Education interested in student mental health. If you have a project you are working on or an idea you'd like to develop, why not write your own blog post for us?