University of Hertfordshire

Staff Confidence in Supporting Student Mental Health: Outcomes from Survey

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Original languageEnglish
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Publication statusSubmitted - 8 Oct 2020

Abstract

The number of university students suffering from mental health problems has been a growing concern over recent decades and support for them is now considered an inevitable part of the role of an academic. Research into the role of the academic revealed ambiguous expectations and weak support given to them regarding their pastoral responsibilities, leading to a lack of confidence when dealing with student mental health concerns. Following previous research, the present study employed an online survey in three schools at the University of Hertfordshire to identify academics’ current confidence in supporting student mental health. Results revealed academics need to improve their awareness as well as knowledge and skills when supporting student mental health. Recommendations for interventions include mental health awareness training, policy development and a clear and nuanced description of an academic’s pastoral role and responsibilities to ensure that students receive appropriate and sufficient psychological support.

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