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Provision of support for psychological distress by university staff, and receptiveness to mental health training

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posted on 2023-07-26, 13:02 authored by Kerrie L. Margrove, M. Gustowska, L. S. Grove
There is increasing concern over the number of university students and university staff who require psychological support; however, little is known about the impact of this on higher education (HE) staff. University employees (n=91) from two UK universities completed an anonymous survey which explored their experience of providing support for psychological distress, receptiveness to mental health training and ability to recognise signs of mental health problems. A total of 63% of the sample reported providing support for psychological distress to students, and 41% had provided this service to colleagues. More than half of those without regular student contact had still provided support for psychological distress to students. Many staff were untrained (>70%) in the topic of mental health, and the majority of staff (64%) would welcome this form of training from employers if made available. HE staff participating in this research demonstrated ability to recognise the signs of schizophrenia (99%) and major depression (95%), but 37% of the sample confused everyday troubles with likely signs of a mental health difficulty. In conclusion, a large number of HE staff provide support for psychological distress as part of their workloads, though most are untrained to do so. HE institutions should ensure that appropriate mental health awareness training is made available to employees, and should encourage staff to complete this training if already available.



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Journal of Further and Higher Education




Taylor & Francis


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ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)

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