The Student Room launches ‘TSR Answers’ to provide information and support to millions of students, in a bid to tackle anxieties triggered by COVID-19

19th May 2020 Press Release

The UK’s largest online student community, The Student Room, has launched a new weekly online event ‘TSR Answers’ to help alleviate the growing anxieties and concerns that have come about following the coronavirus outbreak.

The idea for the virtual series was conceived after TSR saw a 77% spike in conversations around anxiety and depression across The Student Room forums. The spikes occurred immediately after school closures, exam cancellations and grading processes were announced. Suicide-based posts were also up 127% compared to the same time in 2019.

A poll was set up to identify the key contributory factors to poor mental health. It attracted thousands of responses and revealed that the top four contributory factors were: uncertainty around education, lack of purpose, worry around future career prospects and loneliness.

Mhairi Underwood, Head of Community at The Student Room, comments:

Students are facing a unique set of challenges right now. In a time where they would normally be gearing up for exams, instead they’re facing a level of uncertainty around their education and future that’s never been seen before. Young people have been coming to The Student Room in droves for support and reassurance from their peers, but our research has also shown that guidance from key decision-makers and experts in education, government and mental health sectors is essential to help them navigate the changing landscape of their lives. It was clear we needed to help make that connection, and so ‘TSR Answers’ was created.

The live video chats will run as a set of three series over a period of twelve weeks. Each of the virtual sessions will focus on one of the four mental health themes identified in the poll: Your Education, Your Future, Your Wellbeing, and Your Life.

A recent Q&A with the Universities Minister Michelle Donelan attracted over 20,000 views and addressed a number of key concerns around educational issues.

It is hoped that ‘TSR Answers’ will further engage The Student Room ’s 10 million students by connecting them with experts from charities, exam boards, top graduate employers and the world of entertainment.

Experts will be encouraged to provide clear answers about the future of education and students’ career prospects, but also to speak about their own personal coping mechanisms and effective methods of alleviating anxiety and stress during such uncertain times.

 The first in the series sees representatives from Ofqual, Pearson and ASCL welcoming questions on grading from registered members of The Student Room , and will be live from 3.30pm on Friday, May 22nd.

Notes to Editors:

About The Student Room
Founded in 2001, The Student Room is the UK’s largest online student community, providing a platform for young people to connect, and to support each other through peer-to-peer advice on studying, career choice and lifestyle questions in a safe and supportive space. It has over 3 million registered members, primarily aged between 14-24, and currently attracts over 10 million visitors per month. The Student Room works directly with most UK universities as well as a wide range of leading brands and companies.
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