Mental health literacy among students (MATTERS)

In addition to physical health, mental health is an essential component of well-being. A fundamental idea of EUniWell is to build a creative and innovative higher education landscape that has a measurable impact on well-being of European citizens. In order to gauge this impact it is first necessary to obtain sufficient knowledge about the current mental health literacy status of the students from the participating universities (University of Cologne, Leiden University, Semmelweis University, University of Florence, Nantes Université).

Purpose and Significance

Mental illness and stress represent some of the greatest health challenges worldwide, and remain highly stigmatised. In Europe, 25% of the population is estimated to be affected by mental illness, such as anxiety or depression. Early adulthood (age 18 to 25) is one of the most vulnerable age periods for developing mental health problems. Research has firmly established that mental health problems are widespread among young adults, of which university students make up a growing part.

Our project is closely aligned with EUniWell’s core mission and relates to the Sustainable Developmental Goal of Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG3) and also extends SDG4 (Quality Education) and SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), as we strive for improving the awareness and importance of mental health literacy in the academic community and the community at large.

Implementation Method and Timeline

The study is a cross-sectional study conducted as an online survey at each of the five sites in April/May 2022. 

Expected Outcomes

Our study aims to generate data on how mental health literacy is expressed among university students and how it relates to the constructs of stigma, resilience, psychological distress, help-seeking behavior, and defense mechanisms. We hope for a large number of participants and exciting results.