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Student Advisory Group - termly catch up 18/05/23

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

We fed back some results from the survey and asked the group about how we should promote our research trials. Here are the meeting notes:

Here are the infographics that we showed the students.

Survey Infographic_100223
Download PDF • 3.52MB

What do you find most interesting?

o The suicide figures are interesting and a lot higher than expected.

o In response to whether parents should know about suicidal thoughts that are recorded

Ø this might make students less likely to report suicidal thoughts

Ø students are adults and can make their own decisions

Ø it is breaking confidentiality and therefore people would be less honest.

Ø Better option to submit an email address so that a clinician can get in contact with the person for further support.

What information about student mental health is missing that you would like to know?

o More data on mental wellbeing (e.g., resilience, self-compassion) rather than more focus on mental illness.

o A focus specifically on how students feel covid has affected social skills/feelings of isolation.

o The effect part time work might have on sleep schedules / eating habits as well. It would be interesting to link with recreational time questions too.

In our analysis, what comparisons would you like us to make across sites, and between the autumn and spring surveys?

o The comparison of suicide figures in the winter and summer to see if there might be an effect due to SAD.

o The comparison of mental wellbeing and mental ill health at different times of the year. Particularly amongst international students, the colder temperatures affect mental wellbeing.

o Does the mental health of first years decline throughout the year as they are away from home longer or improve as they become more settled? It feels as if first year students struggle more in January/February than they did at the beginning of the academic year. This might require more frequent surveys to pick up the possible changes over time but with the current length of the survey, it is unlikely that students will want to complete more often. Possibly a shorter survey in January to measure these smaller changes?

o The comparison of suicide figures across stages of university study (e.g., Stage 1 compared to Stage 3 student or postgrads vs undergrads) > I guess there’s the concern that if people thought you could link responses to academic attainment people wouldn’t be as honest in case it affected their student record (even though it wouldn’t).

o Correlation between academic performance and good/bad mental health.

o Interesting to see whether students in studying at university in the north (where it’s much cloudier and colder) affects their mental health more than students at unis in the south.

How to promote Clinical Trials:

Reducing Worry

Is there anything else would you/other students like to know before clicking through to find out more and be screened?

· What makes this app different and more useful than a random phone app

· Explain what imposter syndrome is!

· I would like to know my self-critical scores and which range I fall into before start with the apps.

· I would like to see my anxiety scores and which range of anxiety I have.

· Maybe just being transparent with men that we need them to fill it in as we do not know enough about men’s mental health. I think boys are more aware these days that mental health is a problem than previously.

Questions from students:

· How does it work?

· Is there a desktop/iOS version? What sort of device will I need to access it?

· To what extent has the app reduced worry? How will this app reduce my worries/how would it work?

· Will you collect data from me? If so, which types?

· How safe is my data on the app?

· How much time will taking part in this trial consume?

· What are the Ts and Cs?

· Screening criteria important I think -- is the trial for Undergrads, PGTs, or PGRs?

· Why participation is important?

· What students could this help?

· Why is this for me? (the user)

· How will I benefit from this? Can I directly benefit from this from a mental health perspective?

· Is there any individual benefit to participating, i.e., payment, general boost in wellbeing.

· What could be detrimental about this activity?

· Would this study/app potentially disadvantage me if there are other resources for students out there that could be better/already proven to work?

What other benefits might you want in order to take part?

· A boost in general wellbeing by having something to do.

How do we reach out/appeal to men?

· The colours, Nurture-U colours are ‘girly’, the green and the pastels. Maybe stronger colours,

What kind of social posters/media posts could we make to promote participation in this trial?

· Regularly update posters around campus, take down old ones that are out of date now and replace them with new ones, shows that the project is still developing.

· Any posters should have images of students- maybe from some of the groups that may not fill it in e.g. men to encourage them to participate -> they identify with the images & it shows its for them.

· Poster – male-related/attract to join the research, e.g., colour font, bold male figure.

· More physical poster in campus, e.g., café, toilets.

· Posters – infographic of current anxiety/worry issue, e.g., percentage of student wellbeing.

· Maybe a few short videos on Insta (like colleagues have been making in recent months) advertising the app?

· Maybe an edited together one like we did at the start, with many project members speaking?

· Like using short reels > ie. Instagram stories and reels.

· Canva have good designs: more pictures, less words, e.g., stress with university life or worriness I have in university.

· Use TikTok or other visual social media to promote to students. May be in the style of current TikTok trends.

· Some on campus presence for one or two hours to explain to students about the project & give them a link in case they're interested > Like a stall at Freshers again! > Yes, that's a good idea :) I was part of that campaign last year and it seemed to work really well :))

· Do a sort of wellbeing competition where people can showcase their methods of selfcare etc - relate it back to the trial.

· In our advertising we should promote the importance of men getting involved in the study maybe by running specific campaigns during November (Men’s Mental Health Month).

· natural photos -> want to show humanity/ relatability. not too 'stock' like.

· Create a healthy space for them to talk about their feelings- for men.

What key wording/style/type of images might we use?

· Friendly, not too formal -- easily relatable a bit like the edited video that Jemima and team created towards the start of the project.

· Wording so it is clear that there will be a benefit for them as individuals as well as helping other students longer term.

· A video of a student using wording such as “we”.

· List of common causes of worry, e.g., academic stress or financial situation, to increase relatableness.

· Marketing it as a tool for a large-scale study. Otherwise, people might just think it's for a dissertation and not that important.

Treating Anxiety and Depression

Is there anything else would you/other students like to know before clicking through to find out more and be screened?

· Stats of successful cases

· Examples of self- help/ how it works for people who haven't used any self/help resources before

· I would like to see my score and the depression/anxiety range that I fall into.

· What to expect from this treatment.

· Need to be clear about the role of the therapist (i.e., they are there to support the student using the app) otherwise there could be a high drop-out rate if students think the trial is offering free 1-2-1 CBT.

· Same sort of advice as before - though need to ensure it's recognisably different from the other social media campaign for reducing worry > I agree - or else this might lead to confusion among students

· What is self-help? How is it scientifically proven to help students?

· what is CBT?

· How often is this free CBT: Once a week? How long are the sessions?

· How many sessions of CBT would this involve?

· Is this an app?

· Why do this trial and not SilverCloud or something else which already exists?

· What assessments will be used to measure effectiveness?

· What is the criteria?

· Does it involve exercise?

What kind of social posters/media posts could we make to promote participation in this trial?

· Video of a student using the platform- what it looks like, etc so know it’s easy to

· Video: use of stats, academic and student contribution, reasons.

· Video of a role play of a student with anxiety/depression with a friend who is telling them about the trial.

· definitely personalise to the uni! Especially considering the difference in number of respondents between Exeter and Newcastle. Could Andrew make one video but have a different university logo at the corner of the screen at the beginning of the video to personalise it?

What key wording/style/type of images might we use?

· Free therapy!

· Depression/anxiety can be treated ….

· It’s the matter of time …..

· Maybe a more serious/academic tone in comparison to the rumination promos.

· Using the pronoun “we” to help with resonation.

· To encourage different types of people to take part use a mixture of altruism (helping others) wording and benefit to self.

· Ensure that the treatment can help.

Both Trials

Comments and ideas for the videos on the website and social media


· I think it's a case of striking a balance between engaging and serious enough.

· Needs to grab attention quickly with the opening line as people scroll past things easily.

· I always find animations and stop-motion videos quite engaging.

· Or you split it up into several different foci - Like Insta story-length videos.

· Need to get their attention so nobody scrolls past - something impactful to begin with

· The problem with that is most people don't want to go to another podcast to get the information.

· I think maximising on the fact it is a big UK study is important as otherwise people think they’re just advertising their diss project or something. People like being a part of something big.

· I think it would be useful to use stats. It seems vague otherwise. It lets people know that they are not alone. Stats that come from the individual university.

· Telling what is to be expected with the apps (usually apps are self-exploratory but, in this case, a guide to use it will be good).

· Story telling about anxiety, mental and physical symptoms (DSM-5) as people are not always aware that their symptoms might be due to worry, then the end of the video linking to the apps.

· For a video on the website, there should be information on the trials but for social media videos, the information should be more about worrying.

How long?

· Video about 5 min maybe better.

· I think definitely under 5 minutes. More like 2 would be ideal.

· I would say 2 minutes max - because people genuinely scroll fast.

· Video should not be too long 1min 30sec max. It should capture their attention in link the first 30 seconds, so they don't just scroll past.

· If it’s a sponsored post (an ad), I’d say 15 seconds or so, because young attentions spans are short.

· I think the duration of the videos, especially on social media, should be kept at 2 minutes or shorter! For example, with videos of a conversation, the conversation could be broken down into separate videos, like podcasts on TikTok.

· How long does it take an average person to get bored?

· For the website video, it could be a bit longer. Website: 3-5 minutes, Social Media: less than 1 minutes.

What style should it be?

· A conversation between both (a student and academic) could be interesting.

· A conversation with a lecturer and students seems good because it mirrors the relationship of the university supporting the students and gets the academic perspective and then the direct experience.

· I think you can have a bit of an expert/academic but I think the focus should be students.

· More human

· I think a combination, half and half.

· Animation is broad, so it could work in lots of places - better for efficient use of time? (though animation of course takes time...). I would prefer more human just because it's supposed to be a personal self-help tool, for people, not cartoons...?

· An animated video would be useful on the website, it is easy to follow and doesn’t take much brainpower. If you’re scrolling on TikTok or other social media, the human touch might be better. Conversations are easier to follow on TikTok and Instagram than on a website.

· Some visual explanation of what CBT is.

· I do think there should be a few more males than females...just because we do want more male respondents. Without the video we have already had an overwhelming female majority so I don't think it would harm numbers.

· Narrative video (voice-over) rather than word presented.

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