Health and Wellbeing


To improve the mental health of students transitioning to and within university, funded by the Office for Students until the 31st December 2021.

Understanding Mental and Social Health in Transitions at University: Have your say
Office for students logo


The Office for Students funded project Students in Transition at University is underway. We are looking for undergraduates of all years from Sussex and across the UK to get involved in this important project by completing a 30 min, anonymous online survey (available again in the srping 2021).

Take the Survey with flowery background

We are also excited to be working with the Mental Health Foundation with whom we will be developing a Peer Educational Programme about student mental health in university transitions.

Project news

October 2021: New series of student-led mental health workshops

Register here if you are a first year student at Sussex and want to attend some of the workshops. Find out more

September 2021: Behind the Books Campaign 2

Here it is again! Welcome new students at university! This second campaign will run on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd September and you can follow it from here.

April 2021: Successful peer-to-peer workshops

Students who attended really liked: "sharing experiences and meeting people interested in talking about these issues" and "the general conversation and difference of opinion was nice to be a part of". 

October 2020: Behind the Books Campaign

The Behind the Books student campaign was co-produced with students at the University of Sussex. It ran from the 21 – 25 September 2020 across the Mental Health Foundation social media channels. It was created for the platform Instagram, and posted across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn too. Their content was turned into a campaign page on the website, so that their advice can continue to help students after the week ended. Find out more.

August 2020: Get ready for our Student-Led Social Media Campaign 21st - 25th September 2020

We are proud to announce our Socials Take Over which will happen the week of the 21st September along side the Freshers week. Students will take over social media to share honest experiences of university transitions struggles and break the stigma linked with mental illness, stay tuned!  

May 2020: Student-Led Initiative Funding Scheme

Our Student-Led Initiative Funding Scheme is open for applications.

April 2020: Survey launch

We are delighted to announce the release of our first survey round destined to undergraduate students. Click above for more info and take the survey.

March 2020: Covid19 reajustments

We are currently adapting our project strands to the Civid19 and lockdown situation. This means that most of your activities of research and intervnentions will now be done online.

January 2020: Developing collaborations

We are happy to work collaboratively with the Mental Health Foundation, our partner in this project, as well the Connectors project at the university of Sussex

 October 2019: Launch

The Situate project is offically launched! See below to get to know our team!

About the project

The overarching aim of the project is to produce a sustainable, best practice model for the higher education sector that supports students and promotes positive mental health and wellbeing at key educational transitions: from pre-university to university and between years at university.

The project focuses on prevention and early intervention. We intend comprehensive user engagement and co-production to inform the development and implementation of interventions, improve student induction, enhance staff training, and improve university course material and teaching. Our key intervention is a mental health peer education training programme delivered by older students to younger students at stages of transition.

We will design and deliver interventions for all students, but we will also specifically involve the LGBTQ+ and BME communities. This will be informed by students, supported by social media, and complemented by student-led initiatives. To ensure a whole provider approach, key university staff will also receive mental health training.

Key contacts 

Professor Jeremy Niven

After completiphoto of jeremy nivenng a PhD in locust limb control at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK, I stayed in Cambridge to work as a post-doc on fly photoreceptors. In 2005, I moved to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama to work as a Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Evolutionary Behaviour and Neuroscience before returning to Cambridge to take-up a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. In 2011, I moved my laboratory to the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex. View Jeremy's web profile.

Dr Sophie Valeix

photo of sophie valeixI have first studied veterinary medicine and epidemiology in low and middle income countries in France. I then came to Sussex in 2012 to undertake a Masters’ degree in Science and Technology Policy, followed by an interdisciplinary PhD in Development Studies, working on collaboration between public health professionals in Ghana (2013 to 2018). I now coordinate the Situate project at Sussex. I also coordinate the U-DOC project from the Doctoral School and pursue research interests around the mental health of young researchers. View Sophie's web profile.

Lead researchers

Prof Robin Banerjee (Psychology)

photo of Robin BanerjeeI am Professor of Developmental Psychology and head of the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex. I lead the CRESS Lab.

View Robin's profile

Matthew Easterbrook (Psychology)

photo of Matt EasterbrookI completed my PhD at Sussex in 2013 under the supervision of Viv Vignoles, during which I investigated how context – cultural, social, and physical – affects people's identities, motivations, and interactions. I then worked with Helga Dittmar and Robin Banerjee, again at Sussex, on the Children's Consumer Culture Project, studying materialistic and appearance motivations, identity, and wellbeing among children and young people.  

Later in 2013 I moved to work at Cardiff University with Tony Manstead and Toon Kuppens (now at University of Groningen) on a project investigating the impact of education and inequality on people's identities, wellbeing, and socio-political attitudes. In July 2014, I came back to Sussex as a lecturer in psychology. View Matt's web profile

Dr Clio Berry (Psychology)

photo of Clio BerryI completed my PhD at Sussex with Dr Kathryn Greenwood in 2014 and continue to work within the Sussex Psychosis Research interest Group at University of Sussex and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. I am the Trial Manager for the NIHR RfPB-funded GiVE2 trial testing a guided self-help intervention for distressing voices and the Trial Manager for the NIHR HTA funded PRODIGY Trial (ISRCTN47998710) focused on the prevention of long-term social disability amongst young people with emerging psychological difficulties'. I am the co-research lead for the Office for Students funded U-DOC project focused on understanding doctoral researcher mental health and a co-investigator on the SITUATE project exploring undergraduate student mental health across transtions. 

View Clio's web profile