The increase in mental health conditions being disclosed is reflected in the number of students withdrawing from university. As the student mental health crisis gets worse, there is more pressure on university teams to monitor the student’s wellbeing and support them as much as possible.
However, up until now, university teams have experienced many challenges when it comes to managing student’s wellbeing.
Let’s explore some of them.
Student wellbeing management challenges
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Lack of internal communications
If an incident with a student were to occur and a member of staff wanted to report it, they would use their own department’s reporting process. However, different departments have their own way of reporting incidents and there is no central system for all teams to access. There’s simply no way of joining the dots, no holistic overview of an individual student’s support needs, no overall control and no visibility at a university-wide level.
At best, universities are using generic CRM systems which are not fit for purpose as they are not built to manage and share cases in a way that fits with operational requirements. More typically, documents are stored in file systems which provide no basis on which to build university-wide solutions.
By using a student wellbeing management software, universities can report incidents across multiple teams and progress them into cases, should a student access support regularly. This means tracking patterns and identifying concerns early on is possible. Internal communication is more effective and each department can share pockets of information, allowing teams to connect the dots!
Lack of activity monitoring
Previously there has been no way to recognise signs and vulnerabilities via alert systems detecting patterns of student issues such as:
- Disciplinary issues / incidents
- Reporting of traumatic events
- Not engaging with other students or staff
- Not being involved in community activities
- Not paying rent, fees or fines
- Not engaging with academic work
- Running into academic difficulties
- Dropping off the academic radar
This means that there is no single source of truth for student support professionals to monitor and respond to patterns of behaviour that link activities, interactions and progress – something that is commonplace in adjacent sectors such as healthcare.
With a united student wellbeing management solution, university teams can easily record concerns and discover patterns. Whether it be a student acting out of character during a lecture or noticing bruising or scratches on their arm, universities can record anything they feel is impacting the student’s wellbeing. By opening access to the wider teams, all these concerns will form a bigger picture of a student's profile.
In the past, there have been limited ways to securely communicate sensitive information about student wellbeing. Data is typically secured in single word documents, spreadsheets and paper case files.
Communication by email is avoided because of concerns around the propagation of sensitive data, which often means teams resort to low-tech methods such as pen and paper. Given it’s the 21st century, this isn’t exactly “secure”.
A centralised digital student wellbeing management solution offers smart roles and permissions to ensure everyone with the right access can record or view issues and concerns, but details, plans and activities are secured on a need-to-know basis at a team and individual user level.
Prioritising students who need support the most
Without a centralised solution, it’s hard to know which students should receive help first.
With a waiting list of more than 6 months...
- Can students really wait that long?
- Do they have pre-existing conditions?
- Do they feel particularly low?
- Are they missing appointments with you because they just forgot about it or do they need more help from you than ever?
It’s difficult for you to track each student case-by-case, create automatic follow-up appointments and quickly identify who needs your help and why.
By having a solution that provides that centralised view of a student’s wellbeing based on the cases, concerns and incidents associated with a student, you can easily identify which students are most in need of help. The student wellbeing solution does just that.