Teaching & Learning Strategies to support students who experience poor mental health

Dennison, David (2017) Teaching & Learning Strategies to support students who experience poor mental health. In: International Paulo Freire Conference, Education and Transformative Practice, 5-7 September 2017, UCLan, Cyprus.

[thumbnail of Conference presentation] Microsoft PowerPoint (Conference presentation) - Presentation
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL: http://www.paulofreireconference.com/index.php/ipf...


Many colleagues who work in HE will be well aware of the increased prevalence of poor mental health among students. This is an issue in the UK [1] and many other countries and regions including the EU [2], Australia [3] and the USA [4].
The UK has a legal framework in place to ensure that suitable arrangements and accommodations are made for all students with disabilities [5], and it should be noted that students with poor mental health now constitute a growing proportion of students in the UK with a declared disability ‘the proportion of disabled students who declared a mental health condition increased from 5.9% in 2007-08 to 9.6% in 2011-12 and from 0.4% to 0.8% of the entire student population’ [6]
However, it may be that some of our traditional teaching and learning strategies inadvertently disadvantage students who experience poor mental health, for example a seminar presentation, or an Art School critique, or learning outcomes that are linked to work placement. Some of these are discipline-specific, others are more generic to HE studies [7].
This session will discuss how poor mental health can have an impact on learning and how some teaching and learning strategies can be particularly problematic for students who experience poor mental health.
The session will also encourage delegates to reflect upon their own T&L practices and consider how these activities could be as inclusive as possible. As a group we may be able to suggest a range of appropriate alternatives or procedures, or think about incremental targets for certain learning outcomes. We will also be able to reflect upon how inclusive strategies can have benefits for all learners.

[1] Report to HEFCE by the Institute for Employment July 2015: Understanding provision for students with mental health problems and intensive support needs
Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and Researching Equity, Access and Partnership (REAP)
[2] European Commission. 2008. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-08-933_en.htm?locale=en
[3] Dianne Wynaden , Helen Wichmann & Sean Murray (2013) A synopsis of the mental health concerns of university students: results of a text-based online survey from one Australian university, Higher Education Research & Development, 32:5, 846-860,
[4] Iarovici, D. (2014) Mental Health Issues and the university student. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.
[5] Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, UK (2010) Equality Act – Section 20
[6] Universities UK (2015) Student mental wellbeing in higher education – good practice guide
[7] Sarah Ketchen Lipson, Sasha Zhou, Blake Wagner III, Katie Beck & Daniel Eisenberg (2016) Major Differences: Variations in Undergraduate and Graduate Student Mental Health and Treatment Utilization Across Academic Disciplines, Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 30:1, 23-41,

Repository Staff Only: item control page