Students at Newcastle College are set to take part in a mental health study that aims to address the increased demand for mental health support from young people.

NCG, the college group that Newcastle College is part of, has teamed up with Activate Learning and PsycApps Ltd to conduct Britain's largest clinical trial of its type, centred around student mental health.

The trial will use cutting-edge mobile mental health app, eQuoo, a clinically proven gamified app designed to improve student emotional health by tapping into skills that are shown to boost resilience and encourage personal growth while reducing anxiety and depression.

4,000 students across NCG's colleges will take part, with the initiative focusing on the mental health issues that contribute to non-attendance, students dropping out of college, behavioural issues and academic struggles. 

The trial will launch on 26 February and will last until Summer 2025.

Rachel Gibson, Assistant Director of Central Support Services at Newcastle College said: “The mental health and wellbeing of our students is a key priority for all NCG colleges, and we have seen first-hand the huge impact that mental wellbeing has on learning and progression.

“All of our colleges have dedicated support teams, but this app will allow students to proactively manage their emotional wellbeing and hopefully develop the skills they need to protect their mental health. We are looking forward to seeing what benefits it can give learners across our group.”

The study comes in the wake of the Association of Colleges (AoC) Mental Health Survey Report 2023, which revealed that more than 60% of colleges in the UK have seen an increase in demand for mental health support. The report also highlighted how demand continued to outstrip the supply of services and that greater access to community health services and in-college support was needed.

The results of the study will help NCG and Activate Learning support learners' mental, which both college groups recognise as being vital to successful studies.

Liz Bromley, CEO of NCG, said:  "At NCG, we believe that the mental health and wellbeing of our students is crucial to their future success. Young people are facing real stress and mental pressures these days, which is why our NCG Guarantee ensures students across all of our colleges have access to the resources and initiatives that give them the tools they need to build mental resilience.

“I am pleased to be able to collaborate with another forward-thinking college group to tackle such an important issue and offer thousands of young people across the country access to an innovative solution that we hope will bring them enormous benefits.”

Parents and students can find out more about the trial and read some FAQs here.