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Student Shield collaborates with Nordic student psychology experts Headsted


Student health and wellbeing platform – Student Shield – has collaborated with Nordic student psychology experts Headsted to deliver ‘Acceptance and Commitment Therapy’ (‘ACT’) to the UK student population. ‘ACT’ is a 3rd wave, next generation cognitive behavioral therapy which aims to help people learn to gain acceptance of negative emotions, feelings and thoughts, and live their lives according to what is actually important to them. The primary aim of ACT is to ‘increase psychological flexibility’, improving the overall quality of mental health.

University presents a significant life change for many students, who may find themselves living away from home for the first time, whilst balancing social, academic and financial pressures. It can be difficult, however, for students to access the support they need.  Many Universities now provide their students with wellbeing support services. Student Shield aims to work with Universities across the UK to complement and add to these existing provisions, enabling students to manage their levels of health and wellbeing in an independent and proactive way.

Working with BHSF, a not for profit health and wellbeing provider with over 140 years’ experience in the sector, the Student Shield app already provides students with access to an established physical and emotional support system such as 24 hour GP service, 24 hour counselling helpline, online health assessment tool, and many other benefits. 

Brian Hall, Chief Commercial Officer at BHSF said:

“Over the past decade, there has been a huge increase in the number of university students in the UK suffering from mental health problems. We are delighted to be working with Student Shield on delivering this important innovation from Headsted to address this vital issue. We believe their ground-breaking programmes will make a significant difference in helping to reverse this trend.”

Following the collaboration between Student Shield and Headsted, students and Universities will now benefit from a suite of online psychological wellbeing programmes which address specific areas such as stress, anxiety and low mood.

Founded in 2014, Headsted is a team of psychology and technology experts led by Professor Raimo Lappalainen, a global authority in psychological therapies and CEO Dr Kirsikka Kaipainen with the aim to make ‘ACT’ accessible to the Finnish student population through online and mobile channels.                                                                        

Following their successful delivery of online ACT programmes to the student population of Finalnd, accessed via the national Finnish Student Health Services, Headsted searched for a UK partner to deliver their suite of programmes to UK students, leading to an exclusive agreement with Student Shield.

Dr Kirsikka Kaipainen, Headsted’s CEO, commented: “We relish the opportunity to support this groundbreaking wellbeing initiative in the UK. Integrated within Student Shield, our proactive online programmes can support students in developing robust and enduring skills, pivotal to the growth and enhancement of psychological resilience

The addition of the Headsted ‘ACT’ programme to the Student Shield app puts subscribing Universities front and centre of the student mental health national agenda, raising their profile with a statement that they are prioritising the health of it’s students.

Stuart Palmer, founder of Student Shield:

“Student Shield recognises that the needs of students vary as does the way they wish to access help and support. We are delighted to partner with Headsted, a pioneering group of world leading experts who also collaborate with international partners such as the World Health Organisation and EU. We are passionate about student wellbeing, it’s an opportunity to make a true difference to individuals who, if supported to achieve their full potential, will go on to become world leaders and world changers. This is another step in Student Shields ongoing and continual development programme”.

Student Shield combines the highest standards of health and wellbeing support with modern technology to provide students with an instant, proactive, and all encompassing healthcare platform.

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