Project partners will develop a comprehensive action framework including a self-assessment tool and guidelines to support sustainable mental health strategies at the national and institutional levels.

Why prioritise student mental health?

Attending university can be stressful and involve significant lifestyle changes: adjusting to the demands of a new learning environment, interacting with a diverse range of new people and environments, and (coping with) being away from trusted support networks.

Although sixty per cent of students navigate higher education without emotional problems, the other forty per cent experience mental health issues, and approximately one in five struggle with mental disorders.

Manifestations such as binge drinking, eating disorders, and non-suicidal self-injury have steadily increased in recent years, suggesting that public authorities need to take bold action to prevent and treat students’ mental ill-health more effectively.

Methodology

A mixed-methods approach will be used to map European policies and good practices of national authorities, higher education institutions and students across the EHEA. This involves:

  • Desk research
  • Online survey research
  • Peer-learning activities
  • Focus groups
  • Pilot studies

Outcomes

Based on identified needs, and working from a public mental health perspective, project partners will develop:

  • a policy report including recommendations for national authorities and higher education institutions to install sustainable mental health policies in Europe.
  • a comprehensive action framework that provides an extensive overview of objectives and action points which institutional stakeholders should consider in concert to install a sustainable mental health strategy at the national or institutional level
  • guidelines that offer practical tips and advice on how to implement the framework and design sustainable mental health strategies and support services
  • self-assessment tools that support each stakeholder to check their current practices against the mental health framework and receive advice on action points for improvement

All the tools will be freely available on the inclusivehighereducation.eu platform.

Student mental health across Europe: towards a public mental health approach

The emotional health of students in Europe is receiving increased attention. In EUA's Expert Voices, Valérie Van Hees and Ronny Bruffaerts reflect on the existing European landscape and introduce the PLAR-U-PAGs project to support the implementation of sustainable policies across the EHEA.

MOODSPACE

MoodSpace is a place for students, which is packed with reliable information, tips and self-help tools to tackle emotional problems or to help you study confidently. It offers room for student stories and pep talks, and helps you find the help you need. It is the check to put your mental health first. But MoodSpace is also a place where you, as a friend, parent or staff member of a college or university, can discover what you can do.

WHO WORLD MENTAL HEALTH INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE STUDENT INITIATIVE

The WHO World Mental Health International College Student (WMH-ICS) Initiative is designed to:

  1. generate accurate epidemiological data on unmet needs for the treatment of mental, substance, and behavioural disorders among college students worldwide;
  2. implement and evaluate web-based interventions for both the prevention and treatment of these disorders; and
  3. disseminate the evidence-based interventions found to be effective using a continuous quality improvement approach designed to prevent degradation of these interventions in dissemination and successively improve targeting of interventions using precision medicine procedures.