International Student Mental Health

International Student Mental Health

On today’s episode of the Diverse Minds podcast, I’m going to be talking about international students’ mental health whilst studying at universities in the UK.   

I have decided to make an episode on this topic, as it has become increasingly talked about issue within the UK, particularly in Higher Education. 

Blue Monday, the most depressing day in January has passed by and it’s currently Chinese New Year.  I am aware that many students won’t be able to be with their families, so it is relevant to discuss this issue further. 

Listen to the episode

If you enjoyed this episode, then consider subscribing on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you access your podcasts from.

In today’s show, we talk about:

  • Statistics about international students’ at University in the UK. [01:02]
  • The specific issues that impact international students. [02:40]
  • Tangible things that you can do to improve the experience of international students. [07:34]
  • Why mental wellbeing and health is everyone’s responsibility in any given institution or workplace. [11:18]
  • What we can do to support student mental health and create a positive environment. [13:42]

Some helpful statistics: 

  • 75% of all mental-ill health develops by the time someone has reached their mid-20s.
  • In England, 19% of 16 – 24 year-olds will experience a diagnosed mental health condition.
  • In 2015/16, over 15,000 first-year students in UK universities reported a mental health problem, compared to 3,000 in 2006.
  • 94% of higher education institutions are reporting an increase in demand for their counselling services.
  • International students in the UK report fewer issues with mental health than UK-domiciled students a 35%  vs 69%.
  • UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA ), states that 80% of international students will experience mental ill-health at some point in their academic career. 

Here are some helpful resources mentioned in this episode:


  • It’s not that someone can’t speak the language of the host country, but it is about how things are communicated and understood. 
  • When people arrive back in their home country, there might also be a reverse culture shock. 
  • Mental health is not perceived in the same way across the globe.
  • During my 16 years of working in and alongside higher education institutions, I have seen positive shifts in talking about and treating mental health in different ways. 
  • It is imperative that universities ensure international student societies are involved in the planning of culturally specific mental health interventions.

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Subscribe to the podcast

If you enjoyed this episode, then consider subscribing on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you access your podcasts from. 

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Remember to tune in to next week’s episode, where I’ll bring you more insights into mental health and inclusion.

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