Bucks New University & Royal College of Music
Between 2006 -2016 we have seen a 350% increase in the disclosure of mental health conditions by UK first year students in H.E. (Cheap Tramadol Uk), the NUS first acknowledged this in 2013 (Tramadol Cheapest Price) suggesting that around 20% of the student population consider themselves to have mental health difficulties.
Widespread coverage of this problem (Tramadol Where To Buy Uk) has shaped a public narrative of a developing crisis in H.E. These growing mental health difficulties parallel more than a decade of significant changes in the political landscape, which has seen dramatic changes to H.E, culminating in increasing fees and the marketisation of education.
Exploring the Problem: Solution Development
Through our social media networks, we conducted a short (10 question) survey of 1st year students from over 15 different universities, exploring their understanding of wellbeing: their biggest challenges, their perceptions of provision, and the solutions they have found or would suggest implementing. 40 students responded. Students consistently placed social issues, accommodation and finance in their top three worries, yet when asked to discuss, explore, or find solutions, most students were reluctant to engage discourse around understanding and managing their own daily mental health and well-being particularly around financial well-being. Research was also undertaken as part of a postgraduate study exploring how university students felt their own school well-being and mental health programmes prepared them for the transition to university.
As researchers we know that basic wellbeing issues can affect our daily lives and the transition to university is a particularly vulnerable time. Preparedness is paramount and without understanding and management of good mental health and well-being, poor well-being may manifest into more serious issues later on.
We believe that a technological solution (linked social platforms, online space, and an app) to support students understanding, organisation, and positive engagement with their mental health and well-being in preparation for university will offer a unique and significant support to student’s mental health and will prevent more serious problems developing.
We are looking to creating an online community, social media pages, website, with the aim of working towards an app platform. We are seeking support in envisaging a pathway through this, and in making this a reality.
Dr Kate Gee is a chartered Psychologist. She is currently a senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Performance Science, which is a joint venture at the Royal College of Music and Imperial Medical School where she also holds an Honorary Research Fellowship. She specialises in applied research within careers in the arts, social identity and wellbeing, and student mental health. Kate is a former trustee for the British Association for Music Therapy, and a current trustee for City Music Foundation, London – a charity specialising in supporting talented musicians in developing successful careers.
In her spare time she is a professional musician; she has played brass all her life, having worked in nationally acclaimed youth and championship section brass bands whilst training at Junior Guildhall School of Music. She worked with the much-admired jazz hip-hop band Renegade Brass, before being consumed by lecturing and research. Since then she plays for pleasure with the Kent based Orbi Playa big band in Kent.
Pep Stonor is a current Masters student at Bucks New University. She is studying Applied Positive Psychology to further her knowledge on the science behind human strengths that enables individuals and communities to thrive and lead meaningful, fulfilling lives. She is particularly interested in Positive Education and her research focuses on the student experience of secondary school well-being and mental health programmes in the UK and how they prepare students for university.
Prior to returning to education she spent over 15 years working in FMCG, mostly for Unilever as European Marketing Director; this role saw her develop European marketing and PR brand strategies for Unilever Cosmetics International. Pep holds a Certificate in Professional Marketing from the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing.
In her spare time she volunteers for the The Daisy Trust, a charity which seeks to improve and develop the local community by raising and distributing funds through grant giving to the London Borough of Hammesmith and Fulham. She was Chairwoman between 2009 – 2017, managing a board of 12 and over 50 volunteers, she currently holds a trustee position. Pep is also a reading volunteer for Farnham Common Infant school, supporting reception aged children with their literacy skills.
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