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Episode 3 – student mental health and wellbeing

19 November 2020

Episode 3 – student mental health and wellbeing

Accommodation matters in the mental health and wellbeing of students.

The mental health and wellbeing of students during any academic year is a priority for Unite Students. That priority has become even more crucial during the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.

Now more than ever, students need support.

Our Insight Report in 2019 showed that this generation of students demonstrate unrecognised strength in the face of challenges to their wellbeing. And, our recent survey of students’ experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic revealed similar resilience in students;  93% of students intend to stay on at university for the rest of this academic year, despite the significant challenges presented by a global pandemic.

However, there’s clearly more work to do to help improve student wellbeing and mental health. Unite Students recognises that as the UK’s largest student accommodation provider, we have a unique role to play in supporting students. We also know that we can’t do it alone, and by working in partnership with others in the sector, we can share best practice and learning, making the most effective improvements. In that spirit, we have gathered some of those thought-leaders to discuss student mental health and the impact of Covid-19 in the latest episode of our Accommodation Matters podcast.

This month our host Darren Ellis, Unite Student’s Higher Education Engagement Director, is joined by Professor Steve West, OBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England and chair of Universities UK’s Working Group on Mental Health in Higher Education; Rosie Tressler, CEO of Student Minds; Yvonne Turnbull, Director of Student Advice and Wellbeing at Liverpool John Moores University; and Jenny Shaw, Student Experience Director for Unite Students.

In the podcast, Professor Steve West said: “We owe it to this generation of students to really focus on mental health and wellbeing because actually this is about preparing them for what can be a very complex, changing world.”

Rosie Tressler, CEO of Student Minds, said: “A lot of the building blocks are there, but there’s a lot to do before we can really make sure that all students can thrive in Higher Education.”

Unite Students launched its Accommodation Matters podcast in September for anyone working in or associated with student accommodationThe first episode focused on student safety at the start of a new academic year. The second episode was about the transition to university for new students.

Each month, Darren hosts a roundtable chat with a different panel of guests made up of university student accommodation leaders, national policy experts and subject specialists. Future episodes will focus on topical issues; explore student accommodation and the student living experience, as well as reflect on what’s happening and what might be coming over the horizon.


You can download and listen to the podcast in these places:


Apple Podcasts