Our world-class Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) produces more highly cited psychiatry and mental health papers in the top 1%, than any other university in the world, with the goal to improve the lives of people with mental health and neurological disorders.
In addition, King’s staff and students have created an array of initiatives to support the King’s community and beyond to ensure the mental health and wellbeing is protected and nurtured. This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day 2020 is: Mental Health for All - Greater Investment, Greater Access and below highlights some of the work in progress at King’s supporting the campaign.
Student Mental Health Research Network
In July this year, it was announced that the UKRI-funded Student Mental Health Research Network (SMaRteN), led by King’s and based at IoPPN, awarded over £75K funding to seven research projects in universities across the UK, focused on understanding student mental health better. The SMaRteN projects aim to address the substantive gaps in the research around student mental health.
Projects have been selected from a diverse range of research areas. They include work at the intersection between education, arts, and humanities including whether engaging with resources around the history of mental health can have a positive impact and how experiential learning spaces impact on student wellbeing.
Three of the funded projects consider peer relationships, through the development of a peer support wellbeing programme, evaluation of the impact of study groups for MSc students and exploration of how an app might help promote social connection on the university campus.
The Impact of the Pandemic on Student Mental Health
Dr Nicola Byrom, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, and Dr Juliet Foster, IoPPN Dean of Education discuss the need for universities to continue to focus on student mental health in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. Nicola founded Student Minds with the ambition of changing the way we talk about mental health in Higher Education.
Today, Student Minds is the UK’s leading student mental health charity and has been instrumental in developing a whole-university approach to mental health and implementing a University Mental Health Charter. Building on her own experience of mental health difficulties, Nicola has always been passionate about nurturing peer support for mental health. She believes we need to do much more to focus efforts on prevention.