An intersectional approach to understanding common mental disorders and suicidality in minority university students
Research in young adults estimate that common mental disorders (CMD; depression and anxiety) and suicidality (i.e. suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, tiredness of life, death wishes) in early adulthood can adversely impact current and future key life domains including academic performance, employment, drug use, relationships; all of which exacerbate mental health problems.First onset of CMD usually occurs before the age of 25, which is the typical university age in the UK and there are currently approximately 2.3 million students studying in UK universities. Therefore, universities are in the best position to promote positive mental health to a large number of young adults at an important transitional period, to potentially reduce the risk of the above mentioned adverse outcomes.A lack of strong data in student mental health presents a barrier to implementing an evidence-based strategic response to concerns. Therefore, this mixed-methods study will collect much needed data into the experiences and mental health of university students, especially those from marginalised and minority backgrounds who are often unrepresented.This study will ask students about their experiences studying at UK universities and what and how their experiences at university affects their mental health. This study will purposely approach minority and marginalised student populations who are often under-represented in research studies. A national survey will be launched to collect information about the prevalence of CMD and suicidality in the student population using validated questionnaires and more in-depth information about their experiences at university. Finally, culturally-sensitive resources for students struggling with their mental health at university will be co-developed from students studying at King’s College London and the feedback collected throughout the study.The findings will be used to inform UK student mental health policies and procedures for universities and the development of appropriate health promotion initiatives, resources and interventions.
2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health