The article, “Supporting Mental Health, Wellbeing and Study Skills in Higher Education: An Online Intervention System” is a research work by Alexia Barrable, Marietta Papadatou-Pastou, and Patapia Tzotzoli. Barrable is a lecturer at the University of Dundee, Marietta is a lecturer at the University of Athens while Patapia works at My Psychologic clinic in London. It is important to note that all three are psychology scholars with vast experience. Further, they have previously written many research articles that explore human psychology, more especially mental well-being. This makes them reputable figures in the field of mental health and overall psychological well-being.
In the article, Barrable et al (2018) explore the application of an online intervention system in supporting mental health, well-being, and study skills. The author notes that higher education students face extreme difficulties in dealing with study skills and psychological problems with little or no support at all. Further, the authors note that while many institutions of higher learning have put in place structures for psychological and study support for students, these infrastructures are rarely used for multiple reasons. Firstly, over time, these institutions have diversified to offer online study. The implication has been little or no contact all with a majority of students. Secondly, visiting such facilities attract stigma making many students fear to access these services. Additionally, the cost of running the facilities has skyrocketed in recent times. Online support systems offer a viable alternative in dealing with these problems.
The authors note that online support systems can be accessed anonymously, the internet is boundless making it possible to reach all students irrespective of their physical location. Online support systems are also cheaper to maintain compared to physical locations. In this context, the study hypothesis is that online support systems offer a viable solution for supporting mental health, wellbeing and study skills in higher education.
In presenting online intervention systems as a viable solution, the authors used a case study that highlights the laborious approach and the major elements associated with online intervention systems. In this manner, it brings to fore the innovative approach that online intervention systems use in delivering evidence-based psychological support to promote mental health and well-being.
In its review, the study referred to six online intervention systems that have been successfully applied in the past. In this regard, it highlighted the major feature that constitutes the system. These include the design, use of multimedia in the delivery of messages, including study skill challenge and offering a personalized support approach. The authors found that the success of the systems was largely pegged on these elements. Consequently, the authors concluded that online intervention systems can be successfully deployed in dealing with mental health issues that affect students in higher learning institutions. The suggestions made in the research not only highlights the loopholes in existing systems but also viable solutions that policymakers can consider in implementing new measures.
While the study covered broad aspects of the system and highlighted how best it can be deployed, it failed to look at the users’ perspective. The study did not pay attention to the likely challenges that are associated with using the system. Additionally, it lacks any empirical evidence to suggest that users would embrace more than they have the physical facilities offering similar services in institutions of higher learning. The study, however, successfully highlighting the existing gaps in mental health support that these online intervention systems can successfully fill.
Barrable, A., Papadatou-Pastou, M., & Tzotzoli, P. (2018). Supporting mental health, wellbeing and study skills in Higher Education: an online intervention system. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 12(1). doi: 10.1186/s13033-018-0233-z
Online intervention systems in supporting mental health, well, being, and study skills in higher learning institutions
- Authors’ current place of work
- Authors’ educational background
- Problems identified
- There is reduced access to physical mental and well-being support facilities in higher learning institutions.
- Supporting Ideas
- Increased intake of online-based students
- Stigma associated with the physical support facilities in higher learning institutions.
- Higher operational costs associated with physical support facilities,
- Problems identified
- Proposed solution
- Online intervention systems are a viable solution to identified problems
- Supporting Ideas
- Anonymous access.
- Boundless reach to students in higher learning institutions.
- Less costly maintenance.
- Study methodology
- Case study
- Supporting Ideas
- Six online intervention systems previously implemented
- Elements of online intervention systems
- Six online intervention systems successfully applied highlighted the major feature that constitutes the system
- Identified elements
- The design,
- Use of multimedia in the delivery of messages,
- Study skill challenge
- Offering a personalized support approach
- Failure to look at user perspective
- Lack of empirical evidence to support user acceptance
- highlight the existing gaps in mental health support that online intervention systems can successfully fill.
- Online intervention systems are a viable option in helping support student mental health, well-being, and study skills in higher learning institutions.
- Barrable, A., Papadatou-Pastou, M., & Tzotzoli, P. (2018). Supporting mental health, wellbeing and study skills in Higher Education: an online intervention system. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 12(1). doi: 10.1186/s13033-018-0233-z