Impact of Accommodation Environments on Student Mental Health and Wellbeing

Impact of Accommodation Environments on Student Mental Health and Wellbeing

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Scott Brownrigg and leading education contractor Galliford Try have jointly published a new report on the impact that accommodation environments have on the mental health and wellbeing of students.

University clients, designers, developers and providers have a responsibility to design student accommodation in a way that maximises wellbeing. This timely report summarises a roundtable discussion that took place earlier this year, featuring eighteen wellbeing professionals and representatives from across the higher education sector. These included Alan Percy, Head of Counselling at the University of Oxford, Julian Robinson, Director of Estates at London School of Economics and Fleur Priest-Stephens, Policy Lead & Programme Manager for Welfare at the National Union of Students, together with construction professionals and student accommodation operators (full list below).

Within the summary report, a 10-point manifesto has been created to spark debate around how accommodation briefing, design, construction and management can help create buildings that have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, with environments and contexts that enable students to thrive. The main points emphasise connection and community, affordability and the importance of achieving the right balance between private spaces and communal areas where students can interact.

The report can be found here and the Galliford Try website. 

Download PDF 2.8MB

We will be hosting a webinar on Thursday 18 July at 3pm where Ian Pratt, Director of our Education sector, will provide an overview of the report and a Q&A session will be offered. To register for the webinar please follow the link.

“I have always been a strong believer that the built environment has a major part to play in promoting mental health and wellbeing, particularly around young people. The discussions we have had around the table and since in putting this report together have been exceptionally positive and I hope that the people who take time to read what we say can gain a real benefit from it.”

Claire Jackson, Education Director for Galliford Try

“The number of higher education students who have taken their own lives over recent years is deeply shocking and over the last decade, there’s been a fivefold increase in the proportion of students presenting mental health problems. This is what motivated us to consider the impact that student accommodation environments might have in the context of the Universities UK ‘Steps for Change’ initiative. I hope this report will help all those responsible for student homes to consider more fully the positive impact that briefing, design, operation and management decisions can have upon student mental health and wellbeing.”

Ian Pratt, Education Director
Tash Busta Education Round Table 22
Tash Busta Education Round Table 22

We’re grateful to all those who participated: Claire Jackson, Education Director, Galliford Try, Chair of roundtable, David Long, Strategic Business Director, Galliford Try, Alistair Brierley, Project Director, Scott Brownrigg, Ian Pratt, Director, Scott Brownrigg, Steffan Wiliams, Director, Scott Brownrigg, Alan Percy, Head of Counselling, University of Oxford, Dave Corcoran, Director of Student Support and Transition, University of Chichester, Fleur Priest-Stephens, Policy Lead & Programme Manager for Welfare, National Union of Students, Ilya Tabachinskiy, Commercial Development Director, The Student Hotel, Julian Robinson, Director of Estates, London School of Economics, Mark Dooris, Professor in Health & Sustainability, University of Central Lancashire, Mike Entwisle, Project Principal, BuroHappold Engineering, Neil Smith, Head of Inclusive Design, BuroHappold Engineering, Robert Hartley, Head of Estates Strategy & Programme, University of Greenwich, Tracey Smith, Managing Director, Student Living by Sodexo, Tom Martin, Residency Living Manager, Sodexo, Zachery Spire, Head of Research & Training, The Class of 2020.

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