Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The Oxford U-Flourish student wellbeing survey is part of a longitudinal study evaluating the scope of mental health need among undergraduate students. The study aims to better understand what factors determine student mental health and academic outcomes.

The U-Flourish team is a multidisciplinary group of clinicians, academics and students representing a collaboration between the Oxford Student Union, Oxford University Wellbeing and Support Services, the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford and Queen's University, Canada.

The transition to university coincides with a critical period in development, characterised by increased autonomy and responsibility, separation from family and support networks, and development of new social connections. At the same time, the brain is undergoing continued development and individuals are at the peak period of risk for the onset of mental illness. University students are also exposed to a number of unique psychosocial stressors relating to creating new friendship groups, sleep disruption and possibly recreational drug use or alcohol binging. 

 

More students are coming to university with different backgrounds, with varied past experiences, with different expectations, and at the same time emergent adulthood is the peak period of risk for onset of psychiatric illness that will persist if untreated and is associated with school failure and drop-out. Add in substance use and it's this kind of perfect storm of all these risk factors hitting a person right at the most vulnerable time in their development.- Professor Anne Duffy, the study's principal investigator.

 

Emerging research emphasises the substantial unmet need for effective care of students, with international data from the World Health Organisation indicating that up to one-fifth of university students suffer from a year-long mental health disorder. Worryingly, these student's mental health disorders were typically untreated and they were more likely to display higher rates of university drop-out. This further highlights the mounting importance for researchers, clinicians and universities to work together to put in place an evidence-based system of mental health care that meets the needs of students.

Read more about U-Flourish.

Similar stories

Kia Nobre steps down as Head of Department

Matthew Rushworth replaces Kia Nobre as interim Head of the Department of Experimental Psychology

New spinout company: Human-Centric Drug Discovery

Human-Centric Drug Discovery is a new Oxford University spinout company from Professor Zameel Cader's lab.

New European initiative to accelerate the discovery and validation of biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases

Members of the European Platform for Neurodegenerative Diseases (EPND) will establish a collaborative platform for efficient sample and data sharing, linking existing European research infrastructures to accelerate the discovery of biomarkers, new diagnostics and treatments for the benefit of people with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Experimental Medicine and Industry Partnership

The recent launch event of the Experimental Medicine Industry Partnership was an exciting collaboration between industry representatives and researchers from the University of Oxford. During the event, a series of workshops were held to discuss opportunities, challenges, and future directions for the application of experimental medicine in psychiatric drug development.