The mental wellbeing of university students is of growing concern. Indeed, HESA (2022) reported 122,530 students with a recorded mental health condition in the UK in 2016/17. Many students, however, do not access support for mental health (Rosenthal and Wilson, 2008). The main barriers to accessing support include limited awareness of services, fear of stigma (Harris et al. 2016), lack of available counselor appointments (Mowbray et al. 2006) and not believing they need treatment (Czyz et al. 2013). The aim of this study was to explore students' views on how to improve the monitoring of mental wellbeing and the barriers to accessing support at RGU. A qualitative descriptive approach was employed. 113 students were recruited via opportunistic sampling and completed an online JISC survey. The main themes identified during thematic analysis included the need to provide supportive and engaging personal tutor relationships, to regularly monitor and respond to student wellbeing, to promote enhanced wellbeing and improve signposting to resources. Worry, lack of awareness about services, failing to admit they have a problem, fear of being let down, and judgement were identified as the main barriers to accessing support.
FORBES-MCKAY, K. and HENDERSON, S. 2022. Enhancing our understanding of the wellbeing and support needs of RGU students. Presented at the 2022 RGU annual learning and teaching conference (RGU LTC 2022): enhancing for impact, 21 October 2022, Aberdeen, UK.