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SHoT-Results: What is SiS doing?

The results of this year's SHoT survey is quite discouraging, and already existing trends have been severely reinforced by the corona pandemic. It is up to both the student organizations and the educational institutions to help reverse these trends.

We here at Studentsamskipnaden i Stavanger (SiS) know the students' everyday lives and have professionals who exclusively work with students. We have to continue to cooperate with students to be able to offer different forms of support that meet the needs that are out there, says the General Manager of SiS Health, Arve Kristiansen.

During the last year, mainly independently of the corona pandemic, SiS has restructured the health offer. This has made SiS better suited to deal with the challenges students face today. And some challenges - to the extent one can say that - are easier to deal with than others.

– Regarding the issue of loneliness it would be easier to take measures as soon as it is possible to meet in real life in larger groups. Students are understandably tired of online events. we are looking forward to when both the campus and the rest of the world can open up so that we all can be together again, says Kristiansen.

Elisabeth Salvesen, a psychologist at SiS Health, concurs that loneliness is an issue that needs to be dealt with.

– in this issue the educational institutions may be able to help by creating colloquium groups or other small groups with fewer students, making it easier for them to get to know each other. this will be important during the fall. both for new students and for those who have been studying the last year who have not been able to create connections the normal way, says Salvesen, and adds:

– There will ultimately always be students that need more, and this is where we at SiS health need to step up.

– Disregarding loneliness for the moment - is SiS's health offer equipped to deal with the other problems the SHoT survey outlines?

– We have several different offers as of today, and several more are being developed. The main problem is capacity. We believe that the best help the students can get is on campus, with skilled professionals in the student health service. Otherwise, the students would have to queue with the rest of the population at the municipal offer, says Kristiansen.

SiS health's professionals are most worried about the students who need help but do not seek it out.

– We have no easy way to notice students who are struggling. This is why we are hoping for close cooperation with the educational institutions, which can take preventative measures more closely connected to the teachings. this gives it all a more natural aura, not characterized by stigma.

But it is not just SiS and the educational institutions that can help in this situation. the students that have the capacity can also be important contributors.

– The students have different roles, depending on their capacity. the most vulnerable should use our offers and services. those with a bit more capacity can hopefully help others by reaching out, student to student. It's important to maintain connections and relations, and possibly even create some new ones on the areans that will show up in the future as a part of the new social low-threshold offer, says Kristiansen.

– The most resourceful students, those that also participate in student politics, can help work towards increasing the resources of the help-offers in the long term, as they are already doing today. There have been awarded great sums this year, but I fear that the results of the SHoT survey will have long-term effects. It's important that we scale up the help and services following the need.

And this is not just about the need of today's students.

– We have to be aware that the students starting this fall, who are in high school today, also have been through a hard period. I think this will have consequences for how we structure our offers, and I hope Stavanger Municipality will see the necessity for predictability regarding increased grants, so that we will be even better prepared to help students and future students in the region, finishes Kristiansen.

Key discoveries from the SHoT survey:

  • The students' estimation of their health and life quality is moving in a negative direction.
  • Half the students are reporting serious mental health issues.
  • 44% often/very often misses having someone to be (social) with
  • 4 out of 5 works out 2-3 times a week or more
  • 84% wants a Covid-19 vaccine