OxWell Study & School Mental Health
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Understanding student mental health
Our research group runs the OxWell Student Survey, an online school-based study that directly asks students about their mental health, well-being and school experience. Our aim is to ensure that school-aged children and adolescents, aged 9-18 years) can let us know how they are feeling and what might best help them. We are keen to learn about what students need, which factors influence their wellbeing, and how they would like to access help if they have mental health difficulties. The OxWell 2023 survey launched on February 21 2023 and over 200 schools in 6 local authority areas have signed up to participate with over 200 questions being asked. The OxWell Survey has previously been conducted in 2021, 2020 and 2019. We work closely with schools, local authorities and mental health commissioners and services and welcome collaborations with interested researchers and services. We would like to thank the schools and students for the considerable time they have spent participating in this work.
OxWell STUDENT Survey (Online Pupil Survey) - 2023 Edition (Ethical Approval Reference: R62366/RE0014)
Please look at the OxWell website for more information. The survey dates are 21 February - 21 March 2023. The OxWell 2021 survey ran from May to July 2021, and more than 30,000 pupils in England took part. Each participating school received a summary of their school results, and partners and schools with a sufficient number of responses had access to summaries of the data through an online dashboard, this should be available for the 2023 survey in June 2023. The study protocol has been published in BMJ Open. Further information about the research programme, publications and previous OxWell survey questions asked can be found on the OSF platform.
Summary Findings from 2021
A brief report of findings from the 2021 survey is available. The variable guides are available on the OSF platform under 'The OxWell School Survey on Mental Health and Well-being'. The publications from OxWell data include some findings related to the Covid-19 pandemic as we were able to collect before, during and after the main period of lockdown. For example, we have tried to understand more about the impact of lockdown and those most at risk as well as those most likely to be 'happier' in lockdown and why that might be; we explored attitudes to Covid vaccination and also patterns of help-seeking following self-harm. We have looked at sleep as well as looking at associations between mental health and video gaming. The 2020 preliminary findings are available as a preprint (they were first made available in this 2020 summary report, similar to the individual preliminary reports that were shared with participating schools and local authorities). The 2019 Oxfordshire OxWell School Survey findings are available in this 2019 summary report.
Our team includes Simon White at the University of Cambridge and Rohan Borschmann at the University of Melbourne.
INFORMATION FOR PARTICIPANTS AND PARENTS
For parents and participants 16 years of age and older, the 2023 Parent information Sheet can be found here, and some frequently asked questions can be found here. Parents of pupils under 16 years of age are sent the information sheet and provided with instructions on how to opt-out by contacting the school directly.
The OxWell Student Survey (2023) has been approved by the University of Oxford Research Ethics Committee (Reference: R62366/RE0014).
This project has received funding and support from the Oxford and Thames Valley NIHR Applied Research Collaboration and the Westminster Foundation. Participating local authorities and clinical commissioning partners contribute to the running costs of the survey. Previous surveys have received funding from Oxford Health NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, and the MRC Mental Health Data Pathfinder (Oxford).