Pilot Study of a Student-led Peer Support Wellbeing Programme, 2021

DOI

Many students find the transition to university life difficult, and often struggle with their mental health and wellbeing during this time. Ulster University have developed several initiatives to help address this transition. For example, several Schools within Ulster University run a scheme called Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) which is student led and aims to aid the first-year transition into higher education whereby higher year students (mentors) facilitate weekly study sessions with lower year students (mentees). The aim of the current study was to design, develop, implement and evaluate a 12-week student-led peer wellbeing programme for first year undergraduate students attending the PASS programme in the School of Psychology, Ulster University (mentees). These sessions focused on enhancing the wellbeing and resilience of students during semester two. Mentors and mentees were surveyed, and the top 12 wellbeing topics were included in the programme. Trained PASS mentors delivered the programme and sessions were evaluated each week by both mentors and mentees. At the end of the programme, focus groups were held with mentors and mentees to gain feedback on the wellbeing programme. Overall, all those involved reported that they had benefited from the programme and recommended that it should be continued. It is hoped that the findings from this pilot study will lead to the wellbeing sessions being rolled out within the university and other institutions.Many students find the transition to university life difficult, and often struggle with their mental health and wellbeing during this time. Ulster University have developed several initiatives to help address this transition. For example, several Schools within Ulster University run a scheme called Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) which is student led and aims to aid the first-year transition into higher education whereby higher year students (mentors) facilitate weekly study sessions with lower year students (mentees). The aim of the current study was to design, develop, implement and evaluate a 12-week student-led peer wellbeing programme for first year undergraduate students attending the PASS programme in the School of Psychology, Ulster University (mentees). These sessions focused on enhancing the wellbeing and resilience of students during semester two. Mentors and mentees were surveyed, and the top 12 wellbeing topics were included in the programme. Trained PASS mentors delivered the programme and sessions were evaluated each week by both mentors and mentees. At the end of the programme, focus groups were held with mentors and mentees to gain feedback on the wellbeing programme. Overall, all those involved reported that they had benefited from the programme and recommended that it should be continued. It is hoped that the findings from this pilot study will lead to the wellbeing sessions being rolled out within the university and other institutions.

A mixed-methods approach was used in this pilot study, including pre- and post-session questionnaires, online weekly evaluations and qualitative interviews/focus groups after the 12-week implementation period. Wellbeing session delivery and evaluation: Potential participants were emailed a participant information sheet and consent form. Consent was obtained from peer mentors and mentees to take part in the design and evaluation of the wellbeing sessions. Focus groups: Potential participants were emailed the participant information and consent form . Consent was obtained from 7 mentors and 3 mentees which created two focus groups and two one-to-one interviews. The focus group and interviews were conducted online due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

Identifier
DOI https://doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-855366
Metadata Access https://datacatalogue.cessda.eu/oai-pmh/v0/oai?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=oai_ddi25&identifier=dab7330eab54eea9c3734804ed6bb46756f59c0e9a2161179a656169a268cfcc
Provenance
Creator McLafferty, M, Ulster University
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 2022
Funding Reference Smarten; UK Research and Innovation
Rights Margaret McLafferty, Ulster University; The Data Collection is available for download to users registered with the UK Data Service.
OpenAccess true
Representation
Language English
Resource Type Numeric; Text; Audio
Discipline Psychology; Social and Behavioural Sciences
Spatial Coverage Ulster University, Northern Ireland; United Kingdom