Mental Health Survey
Hi everyone! I am Clara and I am the Wellbeing and Community Officer at the GSA. After a couple of months pausing it, I am launching a survey on the provision of Mental Health Services at University of York.
My objective is to gather your opinions and thoughts of the services provided and use the results of the survey to report and influence to the Mental Health Strategy of the University in the following years. This survey will also help me to understand the student experience in the services, and work on your needs and demands though activities, campaigns and reports.
This survey has been design alongside PhD students of the York Think Tank and it takes 15 minutes to fill. The link is open to all students, so please make sure to share on social media, and thank you for taking the time!
Usually, when undertaking their degrees students face feelings of inadequacy, struggle to have a work-life balance, burnout, experience loneliness and the high amounts of workload that influence their mental health. This adds up to the impostor syndrome, perfectionism and academic anxiety and the individualistic path that academic studies comes with.
But we know how mental health does not only relate to one specific section of our lives as students, it also relates to a number of issues that intersect with it, like how the University communicates changes, how accessible is our departmental support or the number of appointments and resources given at different University services. Students mental health is also impacted the state of their housing and general finances but also their gender, race/ethnicity and disability.
I am aware on how difficult and challenging has been this year for the student community, and even if supporting students mental health has been a topic that Universities in UK have had to face and address on the last years, how universities prepare to support students after a prolonged period of stress and uncertainty is going to be determinant next academic year.
That is why, I want to gather your thoughts and views on the Mental Health Services at the University and continue to work to improve them!
Some of the things I have done to improve students wellbeing during this academic year have been:
- Gathering student views through regular Wellbeing Forums.
- Coordinating training with the Student Health and Wellbeing office and the Open Door and Disabilities Team.
- Taking part of the Mental Health Strategy Working Group to design the new strategy for the subsequent 5 years.
- Celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week with events like ‘Look after each other’ and ‘Look after yourself’ and promoting the Great York Walk fundraising.
- Promoting PGR Wellbeing and flagging up to senior management that they need to do better on postgraduate wellbeing in general!
- Supported the UoY Student Mental Health and Psychological Well Being Cohort to monitor students mental health problems.
- Distributing targeted resources for students part of the LGBTQ+ community during lockdown.
- Worked on the new exceptional circumstances procedures to extend them in the new academic year to include mental health difficulties (such as stress, anxiety and depression) and having additional caring responsibilities.
- Campaigned to have accessible feedback forms for students on different services such as Unity Health and the GSA Advice Service
If you have seen my manifesto, my objectives for the next academic year are:
- For the GSA to become part of the Student Minds SUs programme in order to have access to targeted training, networks and online resources from students mental health experts.
- Make mental health a University-wide priority, starting by compulsory supervisor training.
- To develop a support system that understands students are not an homogeneous group i.e with targeted student support plans for PG students, looking at language barriers in access to the service or with support
- for distance learners.
- To increase counselling appointments in OD from 4 to min 6, review the triage system and the use of self-help resources.
- To create with students a renewed evaluation survey of the service.
That is why now I need your help, comments and feedback. Please help me achieve this through completing this survey!