Launch announcement: New SMaRteN Student Cohorts project will coordinate longitudinal wellbeing research across UK universities and support researchers to setup their own cohort studies
The SMaRteN Student Cohorts website has been launched!
There is limited robust data about mental health and wellbeing of university students. We don’t know what are the rates of mental health problems, what are the risk and protective factors, and what are the best strategies to intervene, to prevent, to detect difficulties, and to provide support. Longitudinal cohort studies are becoming a popular research design and UK universities are beginning to take advantage of this method to tackle the problem of wellbeing among the student population. If implemented effectively, cohorts allow us to efficiently follow up a population over time, to understand changes in wellbeing, to link with external data sources, and to embed trials within the cohort for rapid evaluation.
Lucy Nicola Cooper, Doctoral Researcher in Psychology, Sheffield Hallam University, L.N.Cooper@shu.ac.uk
Many staff members at universities are likely to have come across the "Perfectionist Student", or even, the "Procrastinating Student"; too fearful to start or submit work they do not believe is "good enough" because it is not quite "perfect". These students frequently struggle with high levels of worry and anxiety and are repeatedly failing to reach their potential because of their over-reliance on achieving their high standards and maladaptive coping strategies.
As a counsellor and mental health mentor with almost 10 years' experience supporting students in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), I have frequently come across the "perfectionist student" and their excessive use of worry and procrastination that manifests into debilitating anxiety and often hampered academic achievement. It is disheartening to see students with such potential and ambition, struggle so much at university due to the pressures they are facing. My experience in supporting students is what drove my interest to conduct my PhD at Sheffield Hallam University, supervised by Professor Ann Macaskill and Dr David Reynolds; establishing the incidence of perfectionism, worry and anxiety in students, and effective interventions.
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?