Nigeria (Norges Idrettshøgskole) One in three students have serious mental health problems

The figures from this year’s SHoT survey are alarming, especially when it comes to mental health. At NIH, too, we see disturbing numbers.

Greater differences in mental health and quality of life

Mental health has become an increasingly important issue in student welfare. The SHoT survey shows a steady increase in the number of students who report having serious mental health problems. In 2010, 18 per cent of the students stated that they had serious mental health problems, while in 2022 it was as much as 35 per cent. The prevalence and level of mental health problems are still far higher among the female students. The majority of students report that they are doing well, but there is a greater divide to those who are not doing well. SHoT shows a marked increase in the proportion of students who respond that they have had suicidal thoughts from 2018 (14 per cent) to 2022 (22 per cent).

Fortunately, the NIH figures are somewhat better, but they are still alarmingly high. NIH students report that one in four have severe mental health problems, and one in five often feel lonely. 48 per cent state that they have a good or very good quality of life, compared to 42 per cent of the national average.

“We are concerned that so many NIH students are struggling with loneliness and mental health issues. In dialogue with the newly elected student board, the management will hear what the students themselves think can be done to improve the situation. Through close cooperation with the student board, we want to facilitate for students to master student life, and not least thrive, says Rector Lars Tore Ronglan.

Improvement in physical health

The majority of Norwegian students experience their own physical health as good, and better now than during the pandemic. Nevertheless, we see that the proportion of overweight continues to increase, and many struggle with physical health problems.

82 percent of NIH students report good or very good physical health compared to 74 percent of the national average. As many as 81 per cent of our students report being physically active four to seven times a week, compared to 40 per cent of students elsewhere in the country.

Satisfied with the place of study and reception

A clear majority of the students (75 per cent) are satisfied with their place of study and the majority (86 per cent) respond that they have been well received on the current study programme.

Fortunately, we see the same picture at NIH. The majority are satisfied with the academic conditions at their place of study. Here, the NIH is above the national average on all parameters.

“It’s great that the vast majority feel well received and taken care of, both socially and professionally. In 2021, 67 percent of our students participated in the buddy week, and next year we hope that even more will join. The mentor week provides a good entrance to be integrated into the student environment, says the rector.

NIHs take care of each other

NIH is a small institution with many student associations and various offers. But an inclusive study environment does not come by itself. It must be recreated in student cohorts after student cohorts.

“Continue to contribute to an active, open and inclusive environment. Remember that well-being and learning go hand in hand. If you really enjoy your time at NIH, you spend more time here, and well-being releases energy that also strengthens the learning environment. The study period should be educational – but also memorable, social, active, and a time to make friendships. NIHs take care of each other and let them know if something happens that is not okay. Care about how your fellow student is doing. Open dialogue between students – and between students, staff and management – creates a safe and open environment where we can all thrive, learn and develop. This ishowthe NIH culture should be, rector Lars Tore Ronglan emphasizes.