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.
Dr Sophie Francoise Valeix, PhD, University of Sussex
While studying veterinary medicine in France, I develop a strong interest for medical anthropology with an understanding that health and disease of humans and other animals are constructed, debated and politicised notions. This is why, after my training as a veterinarian epidemiologist, I explored further the social dimensions of global public health issues and interventions through a project in Thailand researching village-based social networks around poultry disease surveillance. I then worked on worldwide knowledge flows in collaborative research on Nipah virus (virus transmitted to people by bats) for the dissertation of my Masters degree in Science Policy.
I recently finished my doctorate at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, and should graduate in January 2019. My doctoral research was an ethnographic study of the integration of public health professionals into design of national health policies and services in Ghana with a focus on veterinarians and zoonotic diseases. In my thesis, I examine the veterinary culture and norms through vets’ perspectives, daily practices in local contexts and social networks, and confront these to the international call for collaboration between vets, other medical as well as non-medical professions. I argue that professional cultures influence the potential of interventions on global public health issues in complex ways.
Mental health and academia
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?