"We barely survived": social work students' mental health vulnerabilities and implications for educators, universities and the workforce

Gair, Susan, and Baglow, Len (2018) "We barely survived": social work students' mental health vulnerabilities and implications for educators, universities and the workforce. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 30 (1). 470. pp. 32-44.

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Abstract

Introduction: Evidence is mounting that poverty and psychological stress among university students are common and the mental health of university students is a topic of increasing attention.

Method: In late 2015, 2,320 social work students from 29 Australian universities completed an online survey on the impact of low income on students' daily lives and study success.

Findings: Overall, students revealed financial hardships and a precarious balancing act of study, limited finances, paid work and family. Some students revealed the impact of these hardships on their mental health and wellbeing. Undertaking compulsory field placement increased students' financial stresses and exacerbated mental health vulnerabilities.

Conclusions: The qualitative findings reported here draw on students' responses within the larger student survey data set where mental health impacts were reported. These findings have implications for universities, social work education, field placement preparation and the health of the social work graduate workforce within, and beyond, Australia.

Item ID: 53478
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1178-5527
Keywords: university studies, social work, mental health, wellbeing, poverty
Date Deposited: 03 May 2018 12:20
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 60%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939908 Workforce Transition and Employment @ 40%
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