The UK’s largest online student community @thestudentroom has launched a new weekly online event ‘TSR Answers’ to help alleviate the growing anxieties and concerns that have come about post the coronavirus outbreak.
The idea of the virtual series was conceived after TSR saw a 77% spike in conversations around anxiety and depression across The Student Room forums – following the announcement of school closures, exam cancellations and grading processes. Suicide-based posts were also up 127% compared to the same time in 2019.
A poll set up to identify the key contributory factors, and attracting thousands of responses, found the top 4 contributory factors to be uncertainty around education, lack of purpose, worry around future career prospects and loneliness.
Mhairi Underwood, Head of Community at TSR commented
“Students are facing a unique set of challenges right now. In a time where they would normally be gearing up for exams, instead they’re facing a level of uncertainty around their education and future that’s never been seen before. Young people have been coming to The Student Room in droves for support and reassurance from their peers, but our research has also shown that guidance from key decision-makers and experts in education, government and mental health sectors is essential to help them navigate the changing landscape of their lives. It was clear we needed to help make that connection, and so ‘TSR Answers’ was created.”
The live video chats will run as a set of 3 series over a period of 12 weeks, with each of the virtual sessions focusing on one of 4 themes; Your Education, Your Future, Your Wellbeing, and Your Life.
A recent Q&A with the Universities Minister Michelle Donelan attracted over 20,000 views and addressed a number of key concerns around educational issues. It is hoped that ‘TSR Answers’ will further engage The Student Room’s 10 million students by partnering with charities, exam boards, top graduate employers and personalities from the world of entertainment, inviting them to not only provide clearer answers around the future of their education and how the results of the pandemic may impact their future career prospects, but also to speak of their own personal coping mechanisms and effective methods of alleviating anxiety and stress during such uncertain times.
The first in the series sees representatives from Ofqual, Pearson and ASCL welcoming questions on grading from registered members of The Student Room, and will be live from 3.30pm on Friday, May 22nd.