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Student Wellbeing

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  • Managing student mental health: The challenges faced by academics on professional health care courses

    Hughes, Gareth J.; Byrom, Nicola C.; University of Derby; Kings College London (Wiley, 2019-03-05)
    To explore how academics on nursing and healthcare programmes are managing their roles and responsibility in relation to student mental health. There is growing concern about the mental health of university students in general and healthcare students in particular. Shifts in Higher Education policy, encouraging a ‘whole university approach,’ may place greater responsibility for student mental health on academics. However, little is known about the challenges that poor student mental health creates for academics on healthcare programmes. A qualitative approach, using semi‐structured interviews and focus groups, provided the opportunity for in‐depth analysis. Fourteen academics on healthcare programmes, including seven lecturers from nursing programmes, were interviewed between May and June 2017. Constant comparison analysis was followed to support grounded theory. Four key themes emerged. Academics had difficulty identifying and maintaining boundaries due to competing academic and professional identities. Student disclosures are accompanied by challenges arising due to professional responsibilities. Supporting student mental health on placement is difficult. Academics are aware and concerned about the potential negative impact of course content and practice on student mental health. This is the first study to explore in‐depth the challenges faced by academics on healthcare programmes by the rising prevalence of and concern for, student mental health. The findings indicate that leaders of nursing education programmes and their managers, need to be aware that academics face complex challenges in managing and responding student mental health and may struggle to maintain boundaries due, in part, to competing professional identities.
  • Editorial

    Baker, Charley; Lee, Jason; Rossellini, Sarah; University of Derby (Gylphi, 2012-04)
    The diverse research interests of the three editors of this ‘madness’ edition of Transgressive Culture means the content here is especially trans-disciplinary. Given ‘madness’ and transgression are concerned with challenging the limit, along with Russell Williams’ eclectic selection of reviews, this is apposite. Charley Baker is Lecturer in Mental Health in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy at the University of Nottingham. She co-founded both the Madness and Literature Network (www.madnessandliterature.org) and the International Health Humanities Network (www.healthhumanities.org). Jason Lee is Professor of Culture and Creative Writing and Head of Film and Media with Creative Writing at the University of Derby and has published extensively on child sexual abuse and madness, as well as a novel about a mental health ward, Dr Cipriano’s Cell, and another novel that examines insanity, Unholy Days. Sarah Rossellini is a postgraduate on the MA Humanities – Horror and Transgression at the University of Derby, and co-founder of Beyond Transgression (www.beyondtransgression.wordpress.com), specialising in transgression, science fiction, technology and culture.
  • Student mental health: The role and experiences of academics.

    Hughes, Gareth; Panjawni, Mehr; Tulcidas, Priya; Byrom, Nicola; University of Derby; Student Minds; Kings College London (Student Minds, 2018-01-29)
    To understand more about how academics are managing student mental health, this project interviewed 52 academics at five universities. Participants reported large numbers of students experiencing mental health difficulties. A number of the academics interviewed described experiences of student mental illness that carried high levels of risk and distress. Academics who had worked in the role for many years stressed that they were seeing an increase in the prevalence of mental health difficulties. This report sets out 11 key findings and recommendations to ensure that students and academics are effectively and safely supported.
  • From transcendence to general maintenance: Exploring the creativity and wellbeing dynamic in higher education

    Hughes, Gareth; Wilson, Chris; University of Derby (Knowledge, Innovation & Enterprise, 2017-10)
    The issue of wellbeing in higher education has been an increasing area of discourse and action in recent years, driven considerably by in-creasing rates of recorded mental illness and apparent reductions in student resilience. With increasing recognition of the wellbeing challenge faced by the whole academic community, it is now incumbent on universities to move beyond deficit model support frameworks, to balance the necessary and essential challenge of study in higher education with the need for therapeutic effective interventions capable of engaging students and staff. There is a growing body of evidence relating to the health benefits of participation with creative activity, and engagement with creative experiences. This chapter presents a focused review of the creativity-wellbeing-learning dynamic to explore the possible opportunities for a move beyond the mere provision of supplementary student support. Given the increasing significance attached to creativity as a graduate attribute, the answer to the wellbeing challenge may be to question the notion of academic and therapeutic as being mutually ex-clusive ideals. Shouldn’t effective academic challenge improve wellbeing? Might the challenge actually provide the solution?
  • An investigation of the views, understanding, knowledge, experience and attitudes of sixth form teachers in regard to the preparedness of their students for the transition to university

    Hughes, Gareth; Massey, Frances; Williams, Sarah; University of Derby (Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), 2016-12)
    Research has identified that many students feel significantly unprepared for university life and study While much work has been done to identify ways in which universities can successfully support their students through transition, little attention has been paid, in the literature, to the preparation students receive in school. This report details a mixed methods study to better understand the role of 6th form teachers in preparing students for university and their perceptions of how prepared their students are for Higher Education A number of recurring themes emerged from the resultant transcripts and where supported by quantitative findings. The teachers in the study clearly believed that they had an important role to play in preparing their students for university. Much of this role is currently focussed on career planning, promoting university, helping students make choices and supporting them through the application process. While some work is taking place to help students develop personally and academically, most teachers indicated that they would like to be able to do more in this area. There were broad agreements and concerns about the personal growth and emotional resilience of students. Focus group participants, whose students are, in the main, from non-traditional university going backgrounds also indicated cultural barriers. Teachers in both phases of the research also indicated concerns that many of their students were unable to visualise the future or prioritise beyond immediate concerns and this was undermining planning and preparation. Academic concerns were not shared by all schools, although some indicated that they believed many of their students would struggle to integrate academically into higher education. Teachers in the qualitative phase also identified time, resources, culture and current student attitudes and behaviours as barriers to their ability to do more to prepare their students.