Mental Health

Too often, estranged students work so hard to get to university that they neglect their mental health and general wellbeing to focus on achieving.

Estranged students tend to rely on their own inner resilience to get them through tough times, and many have confessed to finding it difficult to ask for help. When it becomes too difficult to deal with life alone, many students don't know how to express what they are feeling, due to shame and stigma surrounding estrangement.

This can quickly lead to isolation, which over 70% of estranged students report experiencing at least once during their time studying in higher education . All of this can culminate into a very difficult situation, which can negatively impact a student's quality of life and university experience.

One way universities have combatted this, is by assisting students in setting up support groups, which are safe spaces for students to disclose and discuss personal issues where they feel valuable and understood.

One 2nd year student at a prestigious university without visible support for estranged students said: "My circumstances and estrangement have really affected my mental health. I ignored my wellbeing for a long time in order to just pull through university, but eventually everything took a toll on me. I ended up breaking down due to the stress of handling everything alone, and I had to resit my first year. Now I'm doing things the right way and talking to a counsellor, everything is getting better."

The Pledge recognised the importance of mental health and wellbeing. Universities and colleges were asked to consider setting up facilitated peer support groups, run by a trained member or staff as a way of providing tailored support to estranged students. 


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