Introducing New Ways to Improve Mental Health Support for International Students

Introducing New Ways to Improve Mental Health Support for International Students

Your Union is one of ten that will be trying out new intervention methods and ways to support the mental health of international students specifically, helping to develop sector-wide guidelines and tools that will benefit international students throughout the UK.

With over 9,000 international students on campus coming from over 170 countries we understand that this can be overwhelming and that getting settled into a new culture and city can take a strain on your mental health. This is why LUU and our partners sought funding from the Office of Students to develop and pilot mental health and wellbeing interventions specially focused for our international students members as we understand that more tailored support was needed.  

Matt Port, Welfare Officer at Leeds University Union, said: “This project is an amazing opportunity to look into the ways that international students aren’t getting an equitable experience on UK campuses. I’m glad to see how we can work together across our respective organisations and make steps towards supporting all students during their time at University.”

These guidelines and developments will be lead by the University of Nottingham and Student Minds – the UK’s student mental health charity –  as one of ten projects funded by £6 million from the Office of Students. LUU will benefit from the research and pilot the methods next year working with our student members to assess their effectiveness.

Chris Warrington, Head of Student Support at the University of Leeds, said: “Starting study at a new university is an exciting time but may also bring challenges. For international students, adapting to a new country may bring many more, including cultural differences and language barriers, and students may find it useful to access support services.

“This project will examine how higher education institutions can continue to work with international students to establish support that is sensitive to different cultural needs and values.”’

Rosie Tressler, CEO of Student Minds, said: “Now, more than ever, all organisations that interact with international students need to identify whether we are doing enough to address the added barriers and challenges students face when in a new country with new systems to navigate.

“We’re delighted to be working with Nottingham, Leeds and SOAS – three universities and Students’ Unions with diverse international populations, exciting ideas and real commitment to improving the student experience for international students. Together, with a variety of additional partners, we’re excited to tackle the issues in both a ground-up and strategic way for the benefit of the whole sector.”

We will continue to keep you updated as the project progresses.

If you are a current international student who would like support LUU Advice is available to help with any problem big or small with free confidential advice.