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Why Black British Students with Mental Health Problems Struggle More


By Shola Adenekan


Tuesday, November 5,2019.


Students  of African-Caribbean origin in the UK, who suffered mental health afflictions are being let down by universities and colleges, according to a new study.

The office for Students (OFS) says Black British students with a declared mental health condition have some of the lowest continuation and attainment rates.

The OFS study shows that Black students with mental health issues are less likely to have a first class degree or an upper second class degree than other students. Just 53 percent compared to 77 percent for others with mental health problems. And only 77 per cent of Black students who suffered mental health problems continued with their degree after first year, compared to 87 per cent of all students with mental health conditions. 

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the OFS, argues that having a mental health condition should not be a barrier to success in higher education. But for too many Black British students it is seriously impacting their ability to succeed academically, thrive socially, and progress into fulfilling careers.

The OFS, she says, has funded a range of innovative projects across the UK, to incentivise the change that is needed, and that it is committed to sharing the effective practice that comes from this work in order to improve mental health support for all students.


“Mental health and wellbeing are complex issues and there is no simple solution,” she says, “there is already a lot of good work being done to support student welfare but, as this data highlights, there is a need for that work to take account of how mental health issues relate to other characteristics.”

Ms Dandridge believes that these challenges can be tackled by universities and colleges working in collaboration with other partners such as the NHS and charities.

“For instance, by involving students in developing solutions, and by ensuring that the support they offer is coherent within the institution and is tailored to students’ needs,” she says.



Why Black British Students with Mental Health Problems Struggle More

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