Samaritans has co-created a brand new journal with The Positive Planner, aimed at supporting further education students with their wellbeing.
They have worked alongside leading student mental health expert Dr Dominique Thompson and UK students to create a unique wellbeing journal specifically designed to support the needs of further education students.
According to NUS1, half of students say their mental health is worse than before the Coronavirus pandemic, citing feelings of loneliness, anxiety, stress and depression. “The Positive Student Planner” supports students both emotionally and practically as they navigate the complexities of student life. It helps them understand their thoughts and feelings better, practice self-care, and tackle the things they most commonly find challenging such as independent living, budgeting, meeting new people and balancing work and fun. It guides them to develop coping mechanisms for tough times, and positive wellbeing habits that will benefit them in the long term. Students will also receive regular emails with tips and shared experience from their peers, by student writers from the young people’s mental health charity Student Life.
Samaritans and The Positive Planner decided to develop the journal after students told them they wanted an alternative to online support, following two years of the pandemic where they did everything online from studying to socialising. Journaling is also on the rise as part of the wider self-care trend, with scientific studies promising benefits to managing mental health 2, 3.
Samaritans encourages people to proactively take care of their wellbeing every day, and not just when things are tough, in an effort to prevent anyone from reaching crisis point. As well as volunteers being there round the clock to offer people a listening ear when they are struggling, Samaritans give people the skills to look after their own mental and emotional health and wellbeing, build resilience and support others. For example, Samaritans’ support also includes a growing number of self-care tools, such as a self-help app and two wellbeing books authored by a Samaritans staff member.
The popular wellbeing journaling brand, The Positive Planner, and Samaritans connected over a growing concern for the mental health of young adults. With Samaritans’ expertise in mental health support and The Positive Planner’s mission to empower people by creating inspiring journals that promote self-care, the two organisations identified a new way to help further education students manage their wellbeing at a time when mental health is the most common reason, by a considerable margin, students give if they are considering leaving university4.
Further education is a significant transition for people embarking on young adulthood – one many find challenging or lonely as they grapple with the reality of their independence. We jumped at the chance to work with The Positive Planner, along with students from a range of backgrounds, to co-design a resource that will help students prioritise and manage their own wellbeing at a time when it has never felt more needed. This is just one of the ways Samaritans is trying to help young people take care of their mental health, following an unprecedented period of uncertainty and change, and we’re excited to see its impact.
Neil Gilbert, Head of Supporter Innovation and Insight at Samaritans
We’re so delighted to be collaborating with Samaritans to create the first student mental health journal, The Positive Student Planner. The figures surrounding mental health in universities have astounded us, and we knew we had to do something. We have both had our own experiences with poor mental health and understand, as a result, how empowering journaling can be. It is often a precursor to finding the words to speak to someone. We hope to inspire a new movement of journaling for better mental health. We believe journaling is for everyone and hope that by encouraging spending some time putting down devices and picking up a pen, this positive habit can become the next wellness movement that young people have been looking for.
Finn Prevett, Co-founder and Director of Positive Planner
Alongside daily journaling pages, content includes meal, time and budget planning, exercises around self-acceptance, problem solving, challenging negative beliefs, and breathing exercises to tackle moments of anxiety and stress.
“The Positive Student Planner” will donate 10% of its revenue to Samaritans, to help the charity continue to be there for anyone struggling to cope. It is available now, to buy online and in stores.