Black Student Wellbeing Study: Mental Health and Wellbeing of Black University Students in the UK
In 2019 the Office for Students reported that “black students with mental health conditions are being failed throughout the student cycle” and that universities need to address these mental health inequalities.
However, we don’t know what the lived experiences of Black university students are and what mental health and wellbeing support is needed for Black students.
The purpose of this project is to explore the mental health journey and experiences of Black (African, Caribbean, and mixed heritage with Black) students at UK universities. This project aims to: (1) give Black students the opportunity to talk about the life events and experiences they feel shape their mental health and wellbeing journeys at university; (2) explore how institutional and structural racism within UK higher education systems shape the mental health and wellbeing experiences and outcomes of Black university students.
In 2020-2021 I spoke to 23 Black university students who attend or recently attended one of 10 selected universities across the UK to take part in a virtual interview with me, to tell their story.
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis is being used to capture and examine the experiences of Black university students at all stages of the university student lifecycle.
The result and write up of this project has the potential to generate a better understanding of the Black student mental health experience within UK higher education.
This understanding can guide how UK higher education institutes should support Black university students, promote mental health awareness among the Black community and wider community, and give a voice to the Black university student community.
2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health
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Nkasi is the Co-Founder of Black People Talk CIC (@BPTwellbeing) and Director of Black Students Talk, which provides mental health peer support and resources for Black university students in England and Wales.
She is also the Co-Founder of Black In Mental Health (@BlackInMH) an international global network of Black people living, studying, researching and working in mental health.