Are drop-out rates in therapy the new “elephant in the room”? No, it’s probably worse; the elephant has been standing there for decades. Drop-out rates in therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), despite being very common, are barely talked about. A meta-analysis of 115 studies found that one in four patients terminates CBT before reaching remission. (This number doesn’t even include those who don’t show up to their first session). Amongst a range of disorders treated with CBT, people with depression are the likeliest to drop out (36.4%).
From the SMaRteN Student Teams
How are you responding to the Covid-19 lockdown? While for some it is a much-appreciated break from the speed and noise of normal life, it brings uncertainty and anxiety to many others. At SMaRteN, the Student Mental Health Research Network, we’ve been thinking about what you can do to look after your mental health.
Originally published on the Student Minds blog, reposted with permission from Student Minds and the author.
Over the coming weeks we will all experience changes to the way we are working and to the environments in which we are working. Many of us may now be facing the prospect of studying from home in preparation for online assessments. For some PGR students, data collection may be disrupted, conferences cancelled, supervision may change in format or frequency. We may not have face to face contact with our peers, or be present in our lecture theatres, labs, offices or schools, and so online networks can be helpful to share our worries, or our strategies for coping, or tips for using technology to stay connected.
Students in the UK are probably less likely to fail than ever before. For instance, the proportion of first class honours awarded has tripled since 1994.(1) Yet fear of academic failure has risen, particularly among girls here, who now rank fifth in the world for fear of failure.(2)
Here I explore what can be done to reduce this fear. I’d welcome insights on this from fellow researchers.
New Student Team members Elizabeth James (Teesside University) and Chloe Casey (Bournemouth University) talk about their first month as part of SMaRteN, and the training days they attended to prepare for work on research projects on Big Data and Key Questions.
Michael Priestley, SMaRteN Student Team member 2018/2019
The University Mental Health Charter recently highlighted student voice and participation as an enabling strategy for universities to effectively coordinate whole university change to student mental health outcomes. Student voice and participation via the co-production of student mental health research can offer one particularly rewarding route to understanding and responding to the student mental health context and support needs. The UKRI-funded Student Mental Health Research Network [SMaRteN] models a particularly ambitious, strategic, and effective approach to co-producing student mental health research. As an outgoing member of the SMaRteN student-led research team, I share my experiences of how the principles of co-production can be applied in research to better understand and change the state of student mental health in the higher education sector.
The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust: Strategically Supporting Student Mental Health in Universities and Colleges
Michael Priestley, SMaRteN Student Team member 2018/2019
This blog was originally delivered as a short talk at The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust Information Evening 2019.
In this blog, I aim to synthesise my different perspectives on student mental health and wellbeing in order to shine a light on some of the great work that the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust are currently delivering to support students at universities and colleges. I am 1.) A current student, with lived experience of mental health difficulties; 2.) A student mental health researcher, both through my PhD and as a member of the SMaRteN student research team; and 3.) A student involvement coordinator and student representative on the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust Universities and College Advisory Board.
With levels of student mental distress having risen sharply in the UK are there lessons we can learn from other countries, to seek to avoid this? That’s what I’m researching, as a member of our project team. I’d welcome any findings on this from fellow researchers.
The Netherlands is where I’ve started, as a recent study found no evidence of an increase in student mental health problems over the last ten years.(1) This probably isn’t surprising as, since the World Happiness report started in 2012, the Netherlands has never finished outside the top seven, whereas the UK has never come higher than 15th.(2)
At Health Action Campaign we are looking to provide fresh perspectives as to why student mental distress has been increasing in the UK and what might be done to reverse this. So, is there anything we might learn from the Dutch?
I am a first year PhD researcher at the University of Bath interested in a digital intervention for self-harm in university students.
The move to university can be a stressful time. It can involve adapting to a new environment, gaining new independence and the associated pressures that this brings, leaving comfortable support networks behind, and new academic stressors. For many, it can also trigger the onset of self-harm, with this being twice as prevalent in university populations than in non-students of the same age. It has also been suggested that self-harm is more prevalent in university populations than in clinical samples, and that rates of self-harm are increasing over time.
My name is Nkasi and I struggled with a mental illness during my undergraduate and postgraduate life; and continue to struggle with depression, anxiety, and pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder as a PhD student.
As well as my battle with mental illness I also often struggle to navigate the varying degrees of racism I face as a black female PhD student. Research in young adults suggests certain personal identities (e.g. identifying as an ethnic minority, female, LGBTQI+) might mean you are more likely to struggle with mental health problems. There is lack of research into whether similar patterns of mental health inequality are present in the UK university student population.
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?