Student Minds (@StudentMindsOrg) and Umii partner to tackle isolation and loneliness among university students
Umii, the university-based connections app, is announcing a partnership with the UK’s student mental health charity Student Minds in a bid to help combat isolation and loneliness for incoming and current university students.
The higher education community has faced significant challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, with both students and staff having to adapt to remote working and learning environments.
A recent study by Student Minds found that this disruption has had a significant impact on students’ mental health and wellbeing, with 74% of students reporting that Covid-19 has negatively impacted their mental health and wellbeing at university.
The research also found that two thirds of the respondents said they have ‘often felt isolated or lonely since March 2020’.
The social networking app Umii was founded by former Leeds University student Georgia Wheadon after she experienced loneliness and isolation during her degree.
The app enables users to make connections with other verified students at their university based on their interests, and is designed to help universities combat loneliness and increase retention and academic success.
Umii’s new partner, Student Minds, is the UK’s student mental health charity. Founded in 2009, it empowers students and members of the university community to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health, support others and create change. The charity trains thousands of students and staff in universities across the UK to deliver student-led peer support interventions as well as research-driven workshops and campaigns.
In an effort to tackle student isolation and loneliness, Umii will be releasing a series of resources designed to help students and universities.
The first in the series is Umii’s free guide, ‘Combating loneliness at your university’ – an information pack to support higher education staff to reduce loneliness, student isolation and improve social inclusion.
Georgia explains why she embarked on the partnership with Student Minds,
“Student health and mental wellbeing has never been more important. The impact and disruption the pandemic has caused to our universities’ communities means we need to work harder than ever to support students’ mental health and wellbeing. Together with Student Minds, we will be able to reach more universities and therefore help students who are in danger of becoming isolated and lonely.”
Rosie Tressler OBE, CEO of Student Minds adds,
“It’s vitally important for our charity to work with businesses like Umii who are passionate about championing student mental health and can support our work. We believe this partnership will help make a real difference to improving student’s mental health and tackling key issues such as isolation and loneliness.”
After a successful pilot period, Umii was fully launched this year. It already has over 8000 students on board and has initiated 30,000 new connections. 2021/22 new cohorts at the partnering universities will be the first students to start their new student life with the app at their disposal.
Universities and Student Unions across the UK including Bath, Bolton, Essex, Hull, Salford UCLan and Wrexham Glyndŵr are subscribing to their own private Umii networks to offer students a safe and intuitive way to match and connect with like-minded fellow students whom they may otherwise never have met in a city of millions.
Umii’s ‘Combating loneliness at your University’ guide can be downloaded here.