Below is a round-up of some of the digital resources on health and wellbeing for students on placement already being signposted by universities, and other organisations, to students before and during mobility. This is not an exhaustive list, and universities signposting to different resources in this area are encouraged to write in to firstname.lastname@example.org to include them in the list.
In addition to the links below, the European Commission has recently published its own useful resource on the subject, titled Recommendations on the inclusion of higher education students and staff with physical, mental or health-related conditions in the Erasmus+ programme for Higher Education Institutions. This resource is well worth a read for all institutions sending or receiving students through the Erasmus+ programme, and also for those sending students abroad through other means.
Travel health advice
World Health Organisation – advice on travel, health and vaccinations.
European Health Insurance Card – an EHIC lets you get state healthcare in other EEA countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost (or sometimes for free). The card itself is free.
Europa Healthcare Advice - the 'student, researcher or trainee' abroad section sets out where the EHIC may not be enough (for example, PhD researchers regarded as 'resident workers' or students working abroad who have to take out further healthcare insurance).
Reciprocal Healthcare Agreements - the UK has reciprocal healthcare agreements with certain non-EEA countries, meaning that UK citizens visiting these countries will be treated as if they are resident for their healthcare needs. Generally these agreements cover UK nationals living in the UK. Non-UK nationals may still be covered for some reduced cost or free treatment if they live in the UK. Countries where these agreements apply are listed on the NHS website.
TravelHealthPro - website commissioned by Public Health England and hosted by University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Contains country specific information and vaccine recommndations, latest news, factsheets and a world overview. Their Outbreak Surveillance map lets you track the outbreaks of contagious diseases.
Fitfortravel – travel health information from NHS Scotland for people travelling abroad from the UK.
NHS choices – NHS’s health website and encyclopaedia of symptoms, conditions, medicines and treatments.
OSHC Australia - a website comparing all Overseas Student Health Cover polices by providers mandated by the Australian government.
ESC Student app - a £0.79 app that allows students to answer common questions about their health within seconds without the need for an internet connection, developed by the University of Bristol Health Service and health professionals from wider NHS.
Managing mental health abroad
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have a resource on foreign travel advice for people with mental health needs.
The Big White Wall – this is an online 24/7 counselling service and community of people who are anxious, down or not coping and who support each other, guided by trained professionals. Universities who use it include: University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Brunel University, University of Edinburgh, University of Bristol, University of Aberdeen, University of Buckingham, University of Leicester, University of Kent and Coventry University. It is also available through the NHS for certain areas.
5 steps to wellbeing – steps researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation – and used by schools and universities across the UK and around the world. They are simple things individuals can do in their everyday lives ‘connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give’.
NHS choices Moodzone - this area of the NHS Choices site provides an online self-help service with tips and how-to guides for improving mental wellbeing. It includes, amongst other resources, a mood assessmnt quiz, eight audio guides, information on the 5 steps to wellbeing and an introduction to mindfulness practices.
NHS choices online mental health services - this page links to a number of NHS-approved online and remote programmes, therapies and counselling, including Ieso digital health, a confidential CBT with a therapist via secure instant messaging; Sleepio, an online programme based on CBT that helps people overcome sleep problems, available as an app.
Moodgym - a website developed in Australia and now used around the world that uses a free CBT-style online self-help method and training programme to develop good coping skills and overcome problem emotions.
PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide - PAPYRUS runs a confidential helpline, HOPELineUK, at 0800 068 41 41 for young people at risk of suicide, or for those worried about a young person at risk. The helpline is open Mon-Fri 10am-10pm (GMT), at weekends from 2pm-10pm (GMT), and on bank holidays from 2pm-5pm (GMT). Students can also email the helpline on email@example.com.
The Self Care Forum recommends 'self-care' activities that students, whether at home or abroad, can engage in to help maintain a healthy mind and body.
Advice from other students
Thirdyearabroad health and wellbeing pages – articles on how to manage physical and mental health whilst on international placement written by students, for students.
StudentsAgainstDepression - a website by students for students with advice, information, guidance and resources for low mood, depression, self-harm and suicidal thinking.
Photo Credit: CC0 Public Domain Pixabay