Middlesex University is using World Mental Health Day 2022 to encourage students to seek help if they have financial worries and their ability to study is under strain.
The cost of living crisis is affecting most sectors of society including students. Support and welfare teams at Middlesex University anticipate the crisis could affect students’ mental health and might lead to some of them abandoning their course.
In a recent survey by Save The Student website, more than eight in 10 of those asked said they were worried about money and four in five said they had considered dropping out.
In order to reduce the impact, the University has put a support package in place and is committed to helping students study, enjoy their university experience and manage their stress and anxiety.
Matthew Lawson, Director of Library & Student Support at Middlesex University, said: “The University learnt a lot about how to support students during the pandemic and we’re continuing and expanding on that now.
"I have heard that students with money issues can feel the situation is hopeless, describe being unable to cope and experience a sense of failure. This impacts on their ability to study, hindering them from meeting deadlines, or concentrating on course work, which influences their whole university experience.
“For many of our students this is the first time they are living away from home and having to manage their own money. For mature students who might be balancing caring responsibilities with studying, starting a degree is a huge challenge and soaring prices and bills could lead them to reconsider their choices. Our international students are a long way from home and are already experiencing a different culture and financial concerns are yet another hurdle.
“Our approach combines both financial support and expert advice. By making both as easy and accessible as possible we aim to solve immediate issues and help students avoid problems in future.”
"World Mental Health Day feels like a good opportunity to highlight that we understand that cost of living crisis is causing a lot of anxiety but help is available - please use it. Seek support early before the situation starts to spiral."
The wide-ranging package includes a Living Costs Fund that provides support for unexpected costs and advice on scholarships and bursaries. Students can also earn while they learn by being employed by the university via the institution’s employment agency, Unitemps.
Middlesex is also committed to providing value for money for students, by reducing the costs of studying: offering free printing, free laptops for loan, free eTextbooks and reduced gym membership. A new initiative launched for the chilly autumn months ahead is the provision of free hot breakfasts and dinners served in the Quad.
There is also a wealth of useful guidance to help students during this challenging time including student discounts and cheap activities as well as information on housing rights, eviction and debt advice.
Matthew Lawson is keen for as many students as possible to take advantage of the support and added: “World Mental Health Day feels like a good opportunity to highlight that we understand the cost of living crisis is causing a lot of anxiety but help is available – please use it. Seek support early before the situation starts to spiral.”