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Many Hands is a collaborative project led by IHE and seven specialist higher education providers in the UK, and co-funded by the Office for Students (OfS). Over the past two years it has provided a peer-to-peer mentoring service for students seeking early intervention support for their mental health and wellbeing.
The project set out to evaluate the impact of a peer-to-peer mentoring on supporting student mental health from particular groups or backgrounds. Students eligible to participate needed to be mature, or from Black, Asian or ethnic minorities, or studying a creative subject, currently at one of the seven partner institutions. Students were matched to one of our specially trained team of Mentors across the seven institutions, connecting to someone who has faced similar life challenges, in a discreet and easy to access way.
Peer-to-peer mentoring is a proven effective mental health intervention, offering students in difficulty a mentor who has faced similar challenges and experiences. The collaborative approach also addresses the barriers to developing and accessing these services in smaller higher education providers.
The Many Hands project has now completed its active phase and we are currently in the process of producing a range of resources for dissemination to the wider independent higher education sector.