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About the project

The Widening Participation Department and The Institute of Education (IOE) at St Mary’s University, Twickenham have been awarded over £180,000 of funding for a study exploring mental health and wellbeing interventions for students who are the first in their family to go to university or those who are of a lower socio-economic background.

First-generation students are at an increased risk of poor mental health, social isolation and non-continuation during the ‘transition points’ of university. These points include:

  • Starting and finishing university
  • Breaks between the academic year
  • Breaks between semesters

These periods of time are particularly challenging because students have to adapt to a life with more independence and learn to balance academic and financial pressure, build and maintain relationships and some may even experience homesickness.

The project aims to create a Novel Transition Support Package that will be given to a group of first-generation or independent students. The package consists of:

  • Psychoeducation training
  • Personal skills development
  • Peer-to-peer support
  • Mental health drop-in sessions
  • Online resources

The project is a collaboration with King’s College London, University of West London and Maudsley Learning NHS Foundation Trust. 

We are looking forward to working with our collaborative partners as a joined-up approach between education and health professionals, working closely with students, is the best way to support students on their journey through higher education. Prof Anna Lise Gordon, Director of the Institute of Education at St Mary's

St Mary’s University Awarded Funding for Mental Health Study

The Institute of Education (IOE) and the Widening Participation department at St Mary’s University, Twickenham have successfully bid for over £180,000 to lead a study into mental health support at universities.


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