Transitioning students effectively: a student led approach to mental health support was a £736,000 project which aimed to support the wellbeing of students as they transition from school or college into university. Since the start of the project in July 2019, a range of interventions were successfully implemented by the project team. Project staff took a holistic approach to the planning and execution of all activities, however project activities generally fell into two distinct categories – those that were led by the project team based in Student Wellbeing and those that were led by the project team based in Digital Student Experience.
A review of the available literature at the start of the project highlighted a number of factors which affect transitional student wellbeing such as student expectations not matching reality and the psychological wellbeing of transitional students changing rapidly. Key features of interventions were also highlighted, with student led and designed support packages and the avoidance of medicalisation being particularly significant. The project addressed these issues in a number of ways, with transitional work to increase preparedness and balance expectations of students pre-entry, student cohorts involved in the trialling of digital health apps, students being involved in co-production in all areas and all digital content aiming to concentrate on the positive aspects of mental health, avoiding medicalisation.