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Student Mental Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education

Student Mental Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education
A practical guide

Edited by:

September 2019 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Good mental health is essential for students to manage the challenges that university life presents. This book offers pragmatic guidance to support academic and student services staff in engaging with this critical issue, both in terms of being proactive within their role to promote a positive approach to wellbeing, and understanding how to care appropriately for students who may not be flourishing in the university environment. 

Key topics include:

·         The pressure points and transitions of student life

·         The crucial role of departmental and academic staff

·         How to make mental health policies work

·         The legal obligations and limits of student support

·         Creating the conditions for confident support

Part 1: The context
Ruth Caleb and Nicola Barden
Chapter 1: Higher Education in the twenty-first century: changes and challenges for mental wellbeing
Sian Jones-Davies
Chapter 2: The legal positions: obligations and limits
Part 2: Mental health
Dominique Thompson
Chapter 3: Student Mental Health and the Developing Mind
Denise Meyer
Chapter 4: The student life cycle: pressure points and transitions
Antonio Ventriglio, Gurvinder Kalra and Dinesh Bhugra
Chapter 5: Cultural approaches to Mental Health Among Migrating Students
Part 3: Policy and practice
Ruth Caleb
Chapter 6: From strategy to policy and procedure: Making mental health policies work
Ann-Maria Houghton
Chapter 7: Academic and departmental support
Nic Streatfield
Chapter 8: Professional support in Higher Education
Nicola Barden
Chapter 9: Risk and crisis: Managing the challenges
Andrew Reeves
Chapter 10: Supporting staff: Creating the conditions for confident support

I am delighted to see this up to date review of data, research and practical guidance pulled together in an easy to read book for HE professionals. I found it a good reminder of the need to offer culturally competent support systems, to consider cultural bereavement and the psychological impact of transition on the student when planning support services. 

Lydia Pell
Head of Student Advice and Wellbeing, SOAS, University of London

An immensely accessible introduction to key questions about students’ mental health difficulties and what universities can do to support them.  It makes excellent use of case studies to illustrate the complex problems that students present, and to question debates that dismiss the real increase in poor mental health amongst this growing population. 

Dr Hazel Christie
Lecturer in the Institute for Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh

There is growing concern about the mental well-being of students and other young people. This book brings together experts in this field to give a comprehensive account of the relevant issues. It will be invaluable to anyone involved in the care and treatment of mentally-troubled students.

John Callender
Consultant Psychiatrist and Chair, Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Working Group on Student Mental Health

Students face a range of challenges at university, from making friends, to finding a home, to managing limited finances before they can even begin to engage with their learning. This important work summarises the struggles students face and the necessary measures and interventions that can be used in the higher education setting to alleviate their impact. Advocating for a whole institution approach, with a focus on individual wellbeing and community welfare, Student Mental Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education is a welcome addition to literature in the field.

Fleur Priest-Stephens
Policy Consultant, National Union of Students

Sample Materials & Chapters


Nicola Barden

Dr Nicola Barden is a Professional Fellow at the University of Winchester, where from 2013-18 she was the Director of Student Services. Prior to this she led counselling and mental health teams at the Universities of Portsmouth and Aston. She has over thirty years’ experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist, spending some time in the voluntary sector working with young people and those with alcohol problems. She has chaired the Heads of University Counselling Services group, and contributed significantly to the work of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) as Chair of their Accreditation and then Professional... More About Author

Ruth Caleb

Dr Ruth Caleb MBE is a wellbeing consultant, trainer and psychotherapist, BACP member and registered with UKCP, who specialises in the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff in higher education.  She is also a supervisor and tutor on the Metanoia Institute / Middlesex University Doctorates in Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology programmes.  She has over 30 years’ experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist in a wide variety of settings, including the National Aids Helpline, ChildLine, fertility counselling and private practice. Over the last 25 years she has specialised in mental health and wellbeing... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781526421227

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