Book: Supporting Student Mental Health in Higher Education

Brain Changer eBook

Book Title:

Supporting Student Mental Health in Higher Education.

Author(s): Samuel Stones and Jonathan Glazzard.

Year: 2019.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Critical Publishing Ltd.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Student mental health is a key consideration in higher education at the moment with recent reports identifying a major gap in provision by universities and how ill-equipped academics feel to support students. This book addresses these concerns, providing comprehensive guidance and workable evidence-informed strategies and interventions to help those working with students to support them effectively. It is suitable for lecturers, personal tutors, student counsellors, course leaders, heads of department and administration staff with responsibility for student support.

Changing Attitudes & Stigma toward Mental Health in Nursing Students

Research Paper Title

Attitudes and stigma toward mental health in nursing students: A systematic review.

Background

This systematic review seeks to ascertain whether mental health-specific education reduces stigmatising attitudes in nursing students.

Methods

A systematic review of the literature was performed.

Results

Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria.

Most of the results show an improvement in attitudes toward mental health, both in theory and clinical experience, but a greater improvement toward these stigmatising attitudes was observed in clinical placements than in theory.

Conclusions

Mental-health-specific training seems to improve perceptions toward mental health.

Clinical placement underpins theory, leading to a decrease in negative attitudes and stigma regarding mental health.

Reference

Palou, R.G., Vigue, G.P. & Tort-Nasarre, G. (2020) Attitudes and stigma toward mental health in nursing students: A systematic review. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. 56(2), pp.243-255. doi: 10.1111/ppc.12419. Epub 2019 Jul 28.

What is the Current Situation School Mental Health in ASEAN Countries?

Research Paper Title

Current Situation and Comparison of School Mental Health in ASEAN Countries.

Background

School-based mental health interventions are considered to have potential for the promotion of mental health in developing countries.

The researchers held a workshop to discuss the promotion of mental health in schools in southeast Asian countries.

This review report aimed to summarise the current situation of school mental health in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries as reported by their representatives in this workshop.

Methods

To summarise the current situation of ASEAN countries in relation to school mental health, the researchers qualitatively analysed the content of the discussions from four perspectives:

  1. Laws and regulations;
  2. Mental health services;
  3. Teacher training on mental health; and
  4. Mental health education for students.

Results

With regard to school mental health laws and regulations, this report could not provide clear conclusions because the laws were reported through the personal understanding of the public officers.

The results show that mental health services in schools are centred on professionals such as guidance counsellors, although the coverage varied among the different ASEAN countries.

Conclusions

Only Singapore conducted mental health training for teachers in a comprehensive way, and the number of people who were actually trained in other countries was very limited.

Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand included mental health education for students in health education or life skills subjects.

Reference

Nishio, A., Kakimoto, M., Bermardo, T.M.S. & Kobayashi, J. (2020) Current Situation and Comparison of School Mental Health in ASEAN Countries. Pediatrics International: Official Journal of the Japan Pediatrics Society. 62(4), pp.438-443. doi: 10.1111/ped.14137.

Reviewing the Challenges & Mental Health Issues of Academic Trainees

Research Paper Title

The Challenges and Mental Health Issues of Academic Trainees.

Background

In the last decade, mental health issues have come to the foreground in academia. Literature surrounding student mental health continues to grow as universities try to implement wellness services and study the mental health of their students.

Studies vary greatly in terms of measurement tools, timeframe, sample demographics, as well as the chosen threshold of symptom severity for diagnosis.

This review attempts to summarise, contextualise and synthesise papers that pertain to the challenges faced by academic trainees at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate level.

The evidence for, and against, the common claim of increasing prevalence of mental health issues among students in recent years is discussed.

While some studies support this claim, it is difficult to reach a definitive conclusion due to numerous confounding factors such as increased help-seeking behaviour, greater awareness of mental health issues and weak methodology.

The prevalence of depression, anxiety, suicidal and self-injurious behaviour, distress and general mental illness diagnoses are discussed.

Other issues known to influence mental health, such as sexual assault and bullying, are briefly addressed.

Finally, select studies on a few wellness strategies that may improve mental health of trainees, such as mindfulness, are summarised, along with diverse recommendations for individual students, universities, and academia as a whole.

Reference

Eleftheriades, R., Fiala, C. & Pasic, M.D. (2020) The Challenges and Mental Health Issues of Academic Trainees. F1000Research. 9:104. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.21066.1. eCollection 2020.

Education & Training should Aim to improve the Recognition & Treatment of Postpartum OCD

Research Paper Title

Advances in the pharmacological management of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the postpartum period.

Background

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder characterised by obsessions and compulsions.

Obsessions are defined as intrusive, recurrent and distressing thoughts, images or impulses, whereas compulsions are defined as repetitive behaviours or mental acts.

While there is an associated distress, and indeed oftentimes, the individual’s awareness that these behaviours are excessive and unreasonable, the individual continues to be disabled by an inability to cease their compulsions.

The postpartum period may herald the onset of OCD or precipitate an exacerbation of the preexisting OCD symptoms.

Common OCD symptom clusters occur in the postpartum period, with specific challenges associated with motherhood and lactation.

Areas Covered

This brief review aims to review the extent and nature of publications evaluating pharmacological treatment of OCD in the postpartum period.

Expert Opinion

Education and training should aim to improve the recognition and treatment of postpartum OCD.

Due to the limited nature of studies, more research is required to assess the role of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the postpartum period.

Reference

Brakoulias, V., Viswasam, K., Dwyer, A., Raine, K.H. & Starcevic, V. (2020) Advances in the pharmacological management of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the postpartum period. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 21(2), pp.163-165. doi: 10.1080/14656566.2019.1700229. Epub 2020 Jan 1.

Education: Text-based Coaching Protocols for Digital Mental Health Interventions

Research Paper Title

Guidance on defining the scope and development of text-based coaching protocols for digital mental health interventions.

Background

A body of literature suggests that the provision of human support improves both adherence to and clinical outcomes for digital mental health interventions.

While multiple models of providing human support, or coaching, to support digital mental health interventions have been introduced, specific guidance on how to develop coaching protocols has been lacking.

In this Education Piece, the authors provide guidance on developing coaching protocols for text-based communication in digital mental health interventions.

Researchers and practitioners who are tasked with developing coaching protocols are prompted to consider the scope of coaching for the intervention, the selection and training of coaches, specific coaching techniques, how to structure communication with clients and how to monitor adherence to guidelines, and quality of coaching.

Their goal is to advance thinking about the provision of human support in digital mental health interventions to inform stronger, more engaging, and effective intervention designs.

Reference

Lattie, E.G., Graham, A.K., Hadjistavropoulos, H.D., Dear, B.F., Titov, N. & Mohr, D.C. (2019) Guidance on defining the scope and development of text-based coaching protocols for digital mental health interventions. Digital Health. doi: 10.1177/2055207619896145. eCollection 2019 Jan-Dec.

What Can We Learning from Nurses’ Experiences of Events involving Physiological Deterioration of Consumers in Acute Inpatient Mental Health Settings?

Research Paper Title

Clarity, confidence, and complexity: Learning from nurses’ experiences of events involving physiological deterioration of consumers in acute inpatient mental health settings.

Background

The objective of the current study was to capture the experiences of nurses in relation to the acutely physiologically deteriorating consumer.

Improving the physical health care of consumers with mental illness has been widely adopted as a priority for mental health nursing. Much of the effort thus far has focused on routine screening, prevention and treatment of common comorbidities including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and cancer.

There has been less focus on the acutely physiologically deteriorating consumer in the mental health setting.

Further study is warranted since this issue poses a set of highly complex challenges for nurses within the inpatient setting.

Methods

An exploratory, descriptive study was employed using focus groups to gather narrative data which was then subject to qualitative analysis.

Eleven mental health inpatient wards within a local health district in Sydney, Australia were studied, comprising ward-based nurses (n = 64) and nurse unit managers (n = 8).

This paper follows the COREQ guidelines for reporting qualitative health research.

Results

Qualitative data analysis revealed three themes central to the nurses’ experience:

  1. Lack of clarity (subthemes: procedures and leadership accountability);
  2. Confidence in the workforce (subthemes: knowledge & skills, training needs, relevant experience, collaboration with emergency and medical teams, stigmatising attitudes); and
  3. Complexity (subthemes: complexity as the new norm, and suitability of the mental health environment).

Conclusions

The themes found in this study can be used to guide and inform health care policy, protocols, education and processes around building a more confident nurse workforce for the acutely physiologically deteriorating consumer.

Findings provide a rich dataset for the generation of measurement tools and protocols to guide physical healthcare and evaluate performance.

Reference

Brunero, S., Everett, B., Ramjan, L.M., Salamonson, Y., Steel, K., Johnson, A.M., Stokes, M., Langdon, R. & Dickens, G.L. (2019) Clarity, confidence, and complexity: Learning from nurses’ experiences of events involving physiological deterioration of consumers in acute inpatient mental health settings. Journal of Clinical Nursing. doi: 10.1111/jocn.15126. [Epub ahead of print].

Teachers’ Perceptions of their Learners’ Mental Health Problems

Research Paper Title

A qualitative study on teachers’ perceptions of their learners’ mental health problems in a disadvantaged community in South Africa.

Background

The combination of extensive poverty, violence and HIV has potential mental health impacts on children in Southern Africa.

This article is nested in a broader study to evaluate the strength and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) among Sotho speakers, and assess the mental health status of children made orphans by AIDS.

The aim of this study was to describe the mental health problems that the teachers perceive among learners in their classrooms, to understand what the teachers saw as causing these problems and to identify potential approaches to address these problems within the school setting.

Methods

As part of the larger study, 10 teachers were purposively selected to write a report describing the mental health problems among learners in their class.

These findings were discussed at two later meetings with a larger grouping of teachers to validate the findings and obtain additional input.

Results

The teachers were concerned about the emotional state of their pupils, especially in relation to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, scholastic problems and aggression.

These problems were felt to arise from the children’s lived context; factors such as poverty, death of parents and caregivers from AIDS and trauma, parental substance abuse and child abuse.

The teachers expressed a desire to assist the affected learners, but complained that they did not get support from the state services.

Conclusions

Many learners were evaluated by teachers as struggling with mental health issues, arising from their social context.

The teachers felt that with support, schools could provide assistance to these learners.

Reference

Skinner, D., Sharp, C., Marais, L., Serekoane, M. & Lenka, M. (2019) A qualitative study on teachers’ perceptions of their learners’ mental health problems in a disadvantaged community in South Africa. Curationis. 42(1), pp.e1-e7. doi: 10.4102/curationis.v42i1.1903.

What are the Factors Associated with Anxiety Disorders among Patients with Substance Use Disorders

Research Paper Title

Factors associated with anxiety disorders among patients with substance use disorders in Lebanon: Results of a cross-sectional study.

Background

Estimate the rate of anxiety disorders (AD) and associated factors among patients with substance use disorder (SUD) in Lebanon.

Methods

A cross-sectional study, conducted between April and September 2017, enrolled 57 inpatients with SUD.

Results

The rate of AD in patients with SUD was 61.4%. The university level of education compared to the primary level of education (ORa = 0.221) was significantly associated with lower anxiety among patients with SUD. Being sexually abused and having a family history of depression tended to significance.

Conclusions

AD is widespread in Lebanon and high rates of anxiety in patients with SUD were found, warranting the implementation of strategic interventions and establishing national policies and legislation for mental health services to provide optimal care.

Reference

Haddad, C., Darwich, M.J., Obeid, S., Sacre, H., Zakhour, M., Kazour, F., Nabout, R., Hallit, S. & Tahan, F.E. (2019) Factors associated with anxiety disorders among patients with substance use disorders in Lebanon: Results of a cross-sectional study. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. doi: 10.1111/ppc.12462. [Epub ahead of print].