Follow #SoutienEtudiant, the Student Mental Health Prevention Campaign
Why do students need specific psychological resources?
The student population is already one of the most fragile groups in our society, including pre-pandemic. This situation has only been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic: university teaching being held online until February 2021, university restaurants closed, isolation being accentuated in, often cramped, housing, internships cancelled or postponed, career prospects turned upside down by the looming economic crisis, etc.
The figures for the first lockdown are striking: 31% of students showed signs of psychological distress during that time. 11.7% had suicidal thoughts (compared to 7.6% in the rest of the population). The negative effects on mental health during this period will likely continue: according to the Australian Medical Association, the number of suicides is likely to increase by around 30% among young people in the next few years.
student-support.info, a platform supporting students during the pandemic
The site student-support.info was launched by Nightline France during the first lockdown, in the Spring of 2020. With the announcement of another lockdown in October, it seemed necessary to us to relaunch this initiative by updating the data we collected. To do this, a team of five people contacted each listed support system to confirm whether they were still running offering their service to students. In order to ensure that no student was left out, the team also checked whether the facilities also had English-speaking professionals who could speak to international students studying in France.
You can therefore find on the website an updated list of the support available to students, sorted by academy. There is also a list of available support specifically aimed at medical students, who have been particularly affected by the crisis.
Finally, the association offers students advice and resources to help them make the most of this unprecedented and psychologically impacting period. This advice has been developed with the idea of being compatible with the daily lives of students in France, and of referring them to resources that are familiar to them, such as YouTube channels or social network accounts.
#SoutienEtudiant, the prevention campaign opening up difficult but necessary conversations
In order to accompany the updating of this web platform and to enable the greatest number of people to take advantage of it, Nightline France also launched an awareness and speech release campaign on 30 November. This offers students an opportunity to "pour their heart out" during this crisis, while giving access to information. The campaign can be followed on the official Instagram account soutien.etudiant, and with the hashtag #SoutienEtudiant.
Several influencers have chosen to join the #SoutienEtudiant movement, such as Cyrus North, Ben Névert and Swann Périssé. They will use their platforms to discuss the effects of lockdown on their own lives, and share ideas about the effects of lockdown on mental health generally. Furthermore, a challenge, entitled "Truth or Dare" and based on an Instagram filter with the same name, offers students the opportunity to talk in turn about an aspect of their daily life, or to support their loved ones through various actions.
This interactive campaign, which will run until 15 January 2021, aims both to raise awareness of the student-support.info website, but also to remind students of an essential message: you are not alone.