With A level results being released tomorrow, the national mental health charity Student Minds is urging any students who may be struggling or feeling overwhelmed to access its free support service, Student Space.
With Ucas reporting that the number of university applicants disclosing a mental health condition has increased by 453% in the last decade, the charity says it is especially important for students to know that there is dedicated advice and support available to them.
Students preparing for university in England and Wales will have access to free, 24/7 online mental health support from results day right through until the conclusion of their studies
Student Space, which launched in August 2020, has recently received a yearly three-year funding commitment of £262,500 from the Office for Students and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales to extend the provision of its online support. This means that students preparing for university in England and Wales will have access to free, 24/7 online mental health support from results day right through until the conclusion of their studies.
Rosie Tressler, CEO, Student Minds, said: “Results day can bring up a variety of emotions as students take their next steps. Some students will be celebrating receiving the results they want and getting into their first-choice university, others may go through clearing or to a second-choice university and some students may be considering a different path to university.
“At Student Minds, we want to celebrate the hard work that has gone into students’ exams and reassure students that your results do not define you. Everyone’s path after results will be different and that’s okay.
“We also know that over the coming months many students starting university will be looking for support and practical tips to help prepare them for this transition – leaving home for the first time, making new friends, living independently and managing their own finances. This is an exciting time for many, but it is also a big step, which can be challenging for many students. That is why we are delighted to be able to provide mental health and wellbeing support through Student Space for the next three years to help students through the uncertainty of university life.”
Student Space, which was developed in collaboration with students, services, higher education professionals and researchers, comprises several support elements including: advice and information (including resources on preparing for university, managing money worries and advice on how to best look after your mental health and wellbeing); student stories; direct support services (from phone lines to text to peer support services); and signposting to university and students’ union services.
Plus, in recognition of the fact that mental health problems can impact groups of students in different ways, a range of tailored services and content has also been created.
To-date, over a quarter of a million students have accessed Student Space, and focus groups conducted by Centre for Mental Health found that students considered the content ‘really helpful’, ‘current’ and ‘authentic.’
Gareth Hughes, psychoeducation lead and psychotherapist, said: “We know some students wake up on results day to discover they didn’t get the results they hoped for. While this is of course disappointing, it does not mean the next part of your life won’t be good, that you won’t have a fulfilling career or that you won’t get to university.
“What is crucial is you take time and care to decide the next steps to take. Feel how you need to feel, breathe and try and be kind to yourself. Then take time and frame your options and explore what next steps are available to you and what you want to do. Importantly, keep in mind that although your exam results may feel disappointing remember that they don’t have to shape the rest of your life.
“Ultimately there are many routes you can take, just because it is different to the one you initially planned this doesn’t mean it won’t be good or even better than the one you hoped for.”
Tips and support
Read more tips and support for students who did not receive the a-level results they wanted on Student Space and for more information on clearing please visit Ucas for further support.
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