Exeter, Devon UK • Jun 15, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home News Online mental health platform to boost student wellbeing developed by Exeter Professor

Online mental health platform to boost student wellbeing developed by Exeter Professor

The University of Exeter has pioneered the development of an online therapy that reduces the incidence of depression and anxiety in young people.
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Image by Jan Baborák via Unsplash

The University of Exeter has pioneered the development of an online therapy that reduces the incidence of depression and anxiety in young people which will soon be available through NHS trusts and university wellbeing services. 

Rumination-focussed cognitive behavioural therapy (RFCBT), which aims to constructively help people challenge their negative thoughts in an action-orientated manner, has shown up to fifty percent effectiveness at preventing depression and anxiety in young adults and undergraduate students in two clinical trials. 

Now provided under the name MindReSolve, the therapy tackles worry and overthinking, two significant risk factors of mental health disorders. Focusing on repetitive thoughts that are unconstructive, the therapy is designed to change unhelpful worries into problem-solving behaviour, a particularly pertinent coping mechanism due to the elevated uncertainties of COVID-19. 

“The goal [of RFCBT] is for the client to learn about the patterns of their worry, rumination and overthinking and to find ways to tackle them.”

Professor Ed Watkins

MindReSolve is an educational tool with techniques that can empower the individual to incorporate these behaviours in their daily lives. Professor Ed Watkins, from the University of Exeter Department of Psychology says, “the goal [of RFCBT] is for the client to learn about the patterns of their worry, rumination and overthinking and to find ways to tackle them”. 

The shift to providing online support for psychological therapies comes at a key crossroads in healthcare provision. As many young people are unable to access vital support for mental health issues due to a growing demand for services online, developing effective strategies that target unhealthy behaviours before they manifest in mental illness is a priority.

This move to support young people with improving their own wellbeing is part of a greater drive in university healthcare planning by UniversitiesUK. Highlighted during Mental Health Awareness Week, universities are being urged to prioritise the welfare of students and staff in order to create a whole-university approach to wellbeing, considering wellbeing within policy, culture and practice.  


Editor: Emily Im

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