Supporting mental health and emotional well-being among younger students in further education

Warwick, Ian, Maxwell, Claire, Statham, June, Aggleton, Peter and Simon, Antonia (2008) Supporting mental health and emotional well-being among younger students in further education. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 31 (1). pp. 1-13. ISSN 0309-877X

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Over the last 25 years there has been an increase in reported behavioural and emotional problems among young people. Moreover, students in higher education (HE) are reported to have increased symptoms of mental ill health compared with age-matched controls. Some students in further education (FE) are likely to experience similar difficulties, especially as an increasing number may come from backgrounds that may make them more vulnerable to mental health problems. National policies and guidance highlight the importance of promoting the mental health of young people in general and of students in particular. This exploratory study aimed to identify whether, and in what ways, FE colleges were contributing to younger students' (aged 16-19 years) mental health. Interviews with key informants, a survey of FE colleges in England and five case studies of individual FE colleges providing specialised mental-health support services to students revealed some evidence of promising and good practice, but this did not appear to be widespread. Given the current range of college settings, no single approach to improving mental health among students is likely to be the answer. Rather, respondents highlighted a number of factors that influence the provision of support services for students: awareness among professionals of the links between students' mental health and their achievement at college; having in place national and college policies and guidance that address mental health; building an inclusive college ethos; building leadership at senior and middle manager levels; having accessible in-college and/or external support services; and the provision of professional development opportunities for staff.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Depositing User: Peter Aggleton
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:58
Last Modified: 04 May 2012 14:22
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