UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


London care pathway - student journeys

With the number of students entering university with a declared mental health difficulty having increased fivefold in the last decade, university counselling services are struggling to meet the demand. Universities UK have called for a ‘step change’ in student support, recommending greater integration between university and NHS services.

Due to the current fragmented system, little is known about how students navigate services which might be resulting in students ‘falling through the gaps’. Potential difficulties for students’ journeys through care include population-specific factors, due to some having different term and holiday addresses resulting in changing services available, and university and NHS services not being always able to make direct referrals to each other. These factors may have particular impact on certain groups, such as those with complex mental health needs and international students. A better understanding of these factors is needed to support the development of models of partnership working between university and NHS services.

In order to develop these models, it is imperative that a students’ perspective is collected, to allow for barriers and facilitators to receiving appropriate support that may have otherwise been hidden to service commissions be reflected.

The Journeys through Care study is a longitudinal study, following students who are seeking support for their mental health through a mixture of quantitative and qualitative analysis. This hopes to provide rich accounts of students care journeys as they experience them, to provide complementary data to other related projects underway such as the London Care Pathways project [link to London care pathways project here].

This study is still in the design stage, working in collaboration with student service users to ensure our methods are acceptable. We hope to begin recruiting in [xxx].


Project funders: