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Public Health Scotland are carrying out independent research on student self-isolation and wellbeing.

A new study to be run by Public Health Scotland will assess the mental health impact on students self isolating, with researchers seeking the assistance of University of Glasgow students. 

The new study wants to understand the experiences of students who have self-isolated or quarantined on-campus since the start of term. The aim, they say, is to "learn  from students who have had experience of self-isolation or quarantining, so we can ensure that students are adequately supported." Additionally, Public Health Scotland wants to look into possible "alternative" approaches to lower the spread of Covid-19.

The Public Health Scotland study has three main questions that it seeks to answer centered around the impact of the two week isolation: the experiences of overseas and home students of having to isolate including having to self-isolate more than once, what sort of impact has self-isolation and quarantining had on students’ course work,  social life  and wellbeing, and what support is required for the wellbeing of those who are required to self-isolate.

Public Health Scotland say they hope the research will help the Scottish government, universities, public health agencies and other support organisations to provide adequate support for students now and in the future. 

The students that take part in the study will be required to complete a survey followed by a series of online focus groups.

This study will build on recent research by the University of Glasgow that showed lockdown disproportionately affected the mental health of young people (aged between 18-29), women, and those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, and urged that provisions need to be drawn up in the wake of rising cases and local restrictions being put in place.

The announcement comes as the Scottish government sets to draw up plans for the Christmas period and students' safe return for semester two.

The return to campus in September resulted in major outbreaks across halls of residences in Scottish universities post Freshers' Week. The University of Glasgow was at the heart of the Scottish student Covid-19 epidemic, having over 600 confirmed cases which resulted in thousands of students self isolating for two weeks. 

FOR ONLINE: More information on the research can be found here, and a link to the survey can be found here.


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