Black Students Mental Health Blog

About Me

My name is Ronalds Busulwa (Mental Health Practitioner, Addictions Therapist, Researcher, and Mental Health Lecturer). After working for the NHS, I worked as a Mental Health Advisor for University Students. During that time, I developed a good understanding of the challenges students face. Through networking, I have made a lot of good contacts with other professionals and many services. Currently, as a Lecturer, I continue to support and signpost students to services. I have put these resources together to continue supporting students. My PhD research is investigating the role of Faith in the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Black students at University in the UK. I also offer supervision to Mental Health Advisors via UMHAN.

About This Blog

In this blog we have put together several resources which you may find useful to help you cope with the pressures of university life to flourish. Resources include mental health services, self-help tips, guides, tools and activities to support and improve mental health.

Why Black students?

On top of several other factors that can affect all students’ mental health, Black students may also face challenges such as racism (micro-aggressions), inequalities (social and economic), and mental health stigma. They can encounter several barriers trying to access support such as:

Not being able to recognise they have a mental illness because mental health was stigmatised or never talked about in their community.

White professionals not understanding Black students’ experiences of racism/discrimination and its impact on their mental health.

Not being aware of available help and how to access it and not being able to afford private support (counselling, therapy)

Not feeling listened to or understood by healthcare professionals

Black Students And Mental Health

Good mental health positively impacts the students’ learning outcomes and helps them complete their studies. In students, good mental health supports clear thinking and allows them not only to engage with their study programs but also helps them to accept any negative feedback they may receive to improve their studies. Black students with a declared mental health condition are more likely to drop out of university in the UK. For those who do stay in university, around half (53%) of black students who have experienced mental health issues graduated with a first or 2:1 in 2017-18, as opposed to 77% of all students who reported a mental health concern (Office for Students, 2019). These figures show that black students with mental health conditions are being failed by universities and more attention needs to be paid to the different experiences of students with mental health conditions, and put in place tailored support to close these gaps. The purpose of this website is to support Black students to flourish while at university and in life generally.