8th december 2022 / By Rachel Aspinall

Let's talk about 
student mental health

The invisible plague affecting students and young professionals

Team Amplify celebrated crossing the finish line in the Florence Marathon last month,  marking our fifth in total, and fourth in support of Student Minds' – an organisation dedicated to empowering students and members of the university community to look after their mental health, support others and create lasting change. 

Our global community comprises of more than 100,000 individuals and leading financial and educational institutions. Our students are either at school, in the throes of applying to university, or currently studying for an undergrad or master’s programme.

Statistically, students are the most vulnerable to mental health struggles because for many, it’s a time of stress related to the pressures of study, and to the uncertainty of what comes next.

We’re proud to support a cause affecting so many, and of our ongoing mission to support students with this transitional period of their lives, but what else is happening collectively to raise awareness and support the issue?

Research from Student Minds' captures how 1000 UK students were feeling at the beginning of 2022, having completed at least one university term. Here’s some of what they found:

  • 52% of respondents said they often felt lonely or isolated during Autumn term.
  • Academic performance continues to be students’ biggest concern, and students are also worried about managing their time and keeping up with study commitments.
  • 43% of respondents said they need support to manage their own wellbeing.

What are universities doing to ensure that student mental health is prioritised? And what should young people look for when selecting a university to ensure wellbeing support?

A good place to start is to investigate university wellbeing services. Some campuses may have specialist teams already set up, which offer additional support specific to individuals’ needs.

Our partner, The London School of Economics (LSE), have a Wellbeing Hub which includes a Disability and Wellbeing Service, offering help with dyslexia, mental health, and reasonable adjustments.

They also offer weekly interactive workshops to support students with managing anxiety which arises time and time again when studying and mental health are mentioned in the same sentence.

If you are a student studying in England or Wales, Student Space – created by Student Minds - has a University Search Directory where you can find out what support is available on your campus.

We asked Sam Allen, who works in Amplify’s London team and graduated from another one of our partners, Loughborough University in 2021, what he thinks Universities could do to support their students. He said:

“Compulsory education around managing stress and anxiety rather than putting the onus on students could be a great way to help either yourself or someone else you’re worried about could be a good move for universities.  Loughborough had a 24-hour helpline which is great, and widely used I believe”

So, what about after university?

The transition between education and work can conjure feelings of professional uncertainty and lack of coping, both of which impact young professionals’ mental health.

In terms of the financial industry, we know how especially confusing it can be for students who know they want to work in finance but have little no idea what the different roles entail.

We make it our mission to inform students and demystify finance, using technology to showcase opportunities and allow students to get hired based on ability, not background.

How can we bridge the gap between university and the workplace

Work-readiness is a huge part of our service for universities, financial institutions alike. With more than X combined years working in investment bank trading, our team understand how best to prepare students for what’s to come so they can hit the ground running and progress fast within the right roles for them. 

We offer mentoring, career advice, interviewing support and what to expect form a professional and cultural perspective within a financial institution.

The future looks bright

Cultural change is happening, and support is growing. In 2019 the  introduction of the University Mental Health Charter by student minds provides a set of evidence-informed principles to create cultural change and support universities across the UK in making mental health a university-wide priority.

So far, 41 UK universities have joined the Charter Programme and members can apply to the Charter Award, which recognises those universities that promote good mental health and demonstrate excellent practice.

George Backhouse, Head of AmplifyMe who completed the Florence Marathon for Student Minds is positive about the future of students’ and young professionals’ wellbeing:“

Student minds is the perfect example of dedicated support for this issue today and our university partners around the world demonstrate how committed they are to this cause. At Amplify we’ll work tirelessly to support students through their journey and make the transition between study and work as stress-free as possible”.

Find out more

To find out more about more about Amplify’s mission and how we support students navigate an often-difficult transition, financial institutions recruit diverse, quality talent, and universities inspire and delight their students go to www.amplifyme.com

To read more about the fantastic work Student Minds do visit www.studentminds.com