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News article

Top score for student wellness provision at York St John University

Published: 04 August 2022

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  •   Awards
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A group of four students sitting on the grass outside a York St John University building

York St John University has been ranked top for student wellness provision as part of a survey conducted by Learning Labs.

The comprehensive breakdown of higher education institutions’ (HEIs) mental health resources and initiatives focused on Learning Labs’ unique concept for mental wellness known as The Six Domains of Mental WellnessTM, comprising emotional, physical, motivational, intellectual, spiritual and social domains. The HEI Wellness Index analysed more than 70 HEIs, looking at their wellness provision spanning the past five years.

The survey required institutions to complete a series of questions and provide links to publicly available information as a prerequisite for inclusion in the report. Scores from the questionnaire were combined with a multiplier based on each institution’s total wellness response in each of the Six Domains of Mental WellnessTM. This combined score created a unique individual institution score and therefore a position in the overall index.  Learning Labs provides e-Learning for education and the workplace covering mental wellbeing, assistive technology, accessibility, study skills, career skills and more.

York St John University appeared in the top 5 of four of the domains – physical, social, spiritual and motivational – and achieved a number 1 position for overall student wellness provision alongside University of Essex and University of Roehampton.

The report’s introduction stated that there has been a sharp rise in students declaring mental health issues on their application form, highlighting the need for universities to provide increased health and wellbeing support. In addition, the Covid pandemic and the rise in the cost of living have also had a negative impact on the mental health of UK university students. The report praised universities for providing additional support to those experiencing poor mental health.  

In response to the Learning Labs survey results Sharon Hocking, Head of Student Access, Wellbeing and Support at York St John University, said:

“We are delighted to be recognised for the work we do to support student wellbeing. We have seen an increase in students who disclose mental health difficulties over the years and have responded as a whole University to this. We continue to strengthen and develop our services to students and are particularly proud that all members of staff at York St John see student wellbeing as a core element of their role and work collaboratively across to provide the best level of care and support.

“We recognise that therapeutic support is not the only route to improving student wellbeing and that social, spiritual, intellectual and physical health play a key role within our holistic and collaborative model of wellbeing provision. Recent investment in specialist wellbeing services and mental health training for all University staff will help us to continue to respond effectively to our students.”

Learning Labs CEO Andy Gough said: “We collated the HEI Wellness Index report to support the progression of the mental wellness agenda in higher education. We want to work with universities to help understand the current issues and trends, as well as sharing best practice ideas and solutions, sector-wide. 

“Having researched and developed our own concept for learning about, maintaining and developing mental wellness with young people, we believe the Six Domains of Mental WellnessTM is a great tool for discussing mental wellness resources in higher education. York St John University has clearly developed a well-rounded provision for supporting student mental wellness and we look forward to seeing how the sector continues to drive positive change in mental wellbeing for young people here in the UK.”

The full HEI Wellness Index report can be downloaded on the Learning Labs website.

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