Mark Evans

A therapist who has helped thousands of students overcome mental health crises is offering a ‘map’ to help them emerge from an ‘avalanche of stress’ predicted as Christmas approaches.

For many young people, exams, assessments and deadlines are around the corner as the festive season begins. With students also reeling from a disrupted year with Covid-19, experts are predicting worrying times.

Statistics from back in 2016 reported that a fifth of university students didn’t want to return in January. Then, record drop-out levels were forecast as lockdown hit.

Mark Evans, who runs the Conversations with Impact coaching and counselling service, has launched a new book to help guide anyone, not just students, through a potentially traumatic time ahead.

He said: “We think of Christmas as a time to relax and spend time with family, but students have a great deal to consider.

“There’s also the worry of drinking more alcohol than we would normally which can add to low mood, depression or anxiety.”  

Mark adds: “In 2021, alongside all the uncertainty, illness or even bereavement brought on by a pandemic and lockdown, there’s an avalanche of student stress on its way.”

Leicester-based Mark, who has supported students from universities and colleges from across the UK for 16  years, says: “Student mental health and wellbeing is multifaceted. It’s vital to reflect the importance of laying down an extensive psychological, academic, and social foundation for improved wellbeing.

“At the heart of so much poor mental health is low self-esteem and worth. Whether through neglect, abuse, hardship or trauma, or pressure and expectation from families, schools and social media, poor self-image can lay at the heart of student issues.

Money worries are also greater than ever as during lockdown most students had to carry on paying their rent even though they weren’t living in student accommodation.

Part-time jobs with uncertainty over pay after furlough ended and the intensity of zero hours hospitality roles increased. 

Mark has published a new book helping people overcome challenges and face a brighter future.

“Sadly, university counselling services are full of students who lack self-belief, seek perfection, and adopt last-minute strategies,” Mark added.

Mark said his book, How to transform your life with IMPACT: Unlock the best of you, is like a map for students, showing them how to learn to be successful.

He said: “If you have a map, then it is hard to get lost, so you can enjoy a journey through university instead and reach your desired destination.

Mark’s book: How to transform your life with IMPACT is available through Amazon.

You can also find more from Mark at Conversations with Impact