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There's a growing global movement for positive mental health. Photo: Pixabay.

Nonprofits unite to de-stigmatize student mental health

They want to establish a Student Mental Health Week.

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Chegg Inc. recently announced that it has partnered with five leading nonprofits to establish a Student Mental Health Week for the globe.

This year, Student Mental Health Week will take place between Feb. 6 and 12, with a program that seeks to de-stigmatize mental health among students, encourage young people to take care of themselves, and inspire conversations about what the school environment can do to support mental wellbeing.

Dan Rosensweig, CEO and president of Chegg, stated:

We are proud to launch Student Mental Health Week, and hope to put this issue right at the top of the policy agenda.

Alliance for mental health

The organizations involved include:

  1. Born This Way Foundation: Launched and run by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, it supports youth mental health
  2. Jed Foundation (JED): It protects the emotional well-being and prevents suicide of adolescents and young adults
  3. Inspiring Children Foundation: Co-chaired by American singer-songwriter Jewel, it runs programs to nurture the mental, emotional and physical health of young people
  4. Young Invincibles: It leads advocacy efforts focused on improving the lives of young adults and increasing their access to mental health services
  5. Varkey Foundation: It seeks to improve the quality of education for all children by building the status of teachers around the world

“Students around the world face a perfect storm of different challenges – from learning in the aftermath of the pandemic, rising debt levels, and now global economic uncertainty. Through this campaign, we want to continue our commitment to holistically supporting students, so that they can make the most of their education, their relationships, and their ability to face the future with confidence,” added Rosensweig.

Student Mental Health Week Activities

Chegg will hold breakout sessions with students from around the world to develop call-to-action initiatives for their respective governments and legislators, calling for stronger support for mental health. The following stand out:

  • Online Sessions: Chegg will bring together mental health resources from its five partners — including simple tips to improve mental well-being — into a centralized online resource that will highlight the support available to its millions of students around the world.
  • Social Media: The Jed Foundation will co-host a 30-minute Instagram Live Q&A to discuss current mental health challenges among students, telling them how they can ask for help, how they can help a friend, and where they can go to get more support.
  • In-Person Counseling: Chegg.org's $100,000 Global Student Prize finalists will be asked to share their mental health care strategies, resources they turn to for support, facts about student mental health in their country, and the projects they are involved in on the ground. In addition, the finalists for the $1 million Global Teacher Prize will highlight how they have seen mental health affect their students and offer advice to their fellow teachers on how to support the mental well-being of young people.

Worrying figures

Earlier this year, the Chegg.org Global Student Survey, which spanned 21 countries, returned the following results:

  • Close to a third of students globally (32%) felt their mental health had worsened since they returned to campus after lockdown restrictions.
  • 39% of students globally with study-related debt or loans lose sleep over it.
  • A quarter (25%) feel so anxious about their student loan that they have sought medical help.

For its part, a new 'student behavior study,’ commissioned by Chegg's Center for Digital Learning in partnership with Hanover Research, which surveyed more than 2,000 higher education students in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, found that almost three-quarters (74%) of students tend to feel anxious about their classes and schoolwork, and 68% do not get enough sleep. It also revealed that many students suffer from loneliness, with nearly half (45%) struggling to meet new people or make friends.

“Students today are under a lot of pressure, whether they are juggling their degree with work, family, or, like me, sports. That’s why I am proud to be partnering with Chegg to highlight the importance of student mental wellness,” stressed Stanford University women’s basketball star Cameron Brink, who is Chegg’s newest student athlete brand ambassador.

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