Understanding University Student Priorities for Mental Health and Well-being Support: A Mixed-Methods Exploration using the Person-Based Approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Poor student well-being at UK universities is overstretching institutional support services, highlighting a need for effective new resources. Despite extensive literature on mental health and well-being interventions, students’ engagement with support remains unexplored. The study aimed to understand students’ experience of engagement with well-being support, identify their well-being needs and form concrete recommendations for future intervention design and delivery. The Person-Based Approach to intervention design was followed to centralise users’ experience, in turn maximising acceptability and effectiveness of resources. An online survey (N = 52) was followed by three focus groups (N = 14). Survey data were analysed descriptively, and reflexive thematic analysis was performed on qualitative data. Mixed-methods data integration produced four key student priorities for well-being resources – ease of access, inclusive and preventative approach, sense of community and a safe space, and applying skills to real-life contexts. Five actionable guiding principles for intervention design were produced through consultation with expert stakeholders. This work helps understand why and how students engage with support at university. The resulting recommendations can inform future intervention development, leading to more acceptable, engaging and effective student well-being resources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-789
Number of pages14
JournalStress and Health
Volume38
Issue number4
Early online date9 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • well-being
  • mental health
  • university students
  • Intervention development
  • person-based approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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