Queen Mary University of London integrates Togetherall into student wellbeing provisions

Diverse Russell Group University complements a range of existing wellbeing support measures, with digital peer support.

Growing ambitions and changing needs

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is a research-led top-tier university with a large and diverse student base. With a physical presence to the east of Central London and a growing footprint abroad and online, supporting every single one of its 30,000+ students is an enormous challenge.

The university is proud to stand out among the Russell Group for its commitment to inclusivity. It reports an intake of around three quarters of students from state-school backgrounds, a high proportion of whom are first-generation university attendees and it enrols a significant representation of students from black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds. QMUL has a vision to become the “most inclusive university of its kind anywhere” by 2030.

In 2022, Queen Mary’s won the ‘university of the year’ award at the sixth annual UK Social Mobility Awards and The Times Good University Guide, 2021 noted “Queen Mary continues to prove that social inclusion and academic success are not mutually exclusive.”

While celebrating the institution’s inclusivity and unique identity, QMUL acknowledges the challenges in providing comprehensive support to a diverse student population with varying needs. Designing a system of support to meet all needs is “a process of evolution,” says Simon Jarvis, QMUL’s Head of Student Wellbeing.

Despite increased cultural focus on mental health issues in recent decades, many students are still hesitant to access support. This is particularly true for those from communities or cultures where stigmas about seeking mental health support remain influential. While this has impacted many of QMUL’s students, the practicalities of serving a population across different locations, territories and time zones was also key a challenge for the university.


Towards proactive prevention

QMUL’s student wellbeing initiatives are led by three key teams: the Advice and Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, and the Student Life team. These teams collaborate to provide comprehensive support to students.

“We’ve had lots of investment in the last few years from the pandemic onwards with many ‘boots on the ground’ to support those who have said ‘I need some help’, but we want to be more proactive than that.”
Simon Jarvis, Head of Student Wellbeing, QMUL

The university, led particularly by the Student Life team is shifting more focus towards proactive measures and prevention through Student Wellbeing Advisors, who promote general wellbeing activities, such as mindfulness sessions and social clubs. These moves also reflect a need to help students remain resilient and cope with temporary stressors – such as workload or essay pressures – which can often place short-term and disproportionate pressure on in-person treatment provisions. This prevention-oriented approach led the university in-part towards working with Togetherall.


Implementing Togetherall

The digital platform provides a safe and anonymous space for students to connect, share experiences, and seek peer support. Students can access Togetherall at any time of day or night, for anonymised help seeking in a safeguarded online environment.

Togetherall is not only part of QMULs suite of prevention support measures, it serves as practical, around-the clock, easy-access intervention. Togetherall also aligns with QMUL’s goal of offering diverse support options and accommodating the preferences of digital natives. The university’s increasing transnational provision makes Togetherall’s accessibility even more valuable for students studying remotely.

QMUL has made efforts to promote Togetherall across the student body. Togetherall is integrated into the university’s communication channels, email signatures, and is highlighted during orientation and events. Student support officers play a vital role in promoting the platform, ensuring students are aware of the resource and its benefits. This promotion has evolved since the partnership with Togetherall and finding new ways to raise awareness of the support available has led to increased adoption by students, reflected in the regular reporting figures provided via Togetherall’s anonymised and aggregated analytics.

  • 68% of QMUL’s Togetherall users identify as an ethnicity other than white.
  • 70% join Togetherall while receiving no other form of support
  • QMUL Togetherall users show above-average engagement with Togetherall features and usage of the platform


Diverse needs: not just prevention

While Togetherall has been deployed by the university as part of population-level tool to reach more students and in particular those receiving no other forms of help, Togetherall serves to catch and safeguard students with more acute levels of support needs. 32% of Togetherall users expressed SI or thoughts of self-harm in the six months prior to joining. 38% of users have also received 1-1 intervention from Togetherall’s clinical team. The platform’s professional moderation and escalation procedures provided reassurance to QMUL:

“We don’t have lots of escalation flags, but we have had them, and they come through very quickly… that’s been valuable, to help us head off any kind of potential safety concerns. The professionalism that’s demonstrated has been impressive, really.”
Simon Jarvis, Head of Student Wellbeing, QMUL

More broadly, Togetherall can help students with specific support needs related to, for example, neurodiversity, ADHD, and study stress which the university has seen grown in prevalence. Togetherall helps people with similar experiences to find community to support each other whether directly, in the community or in specific-interest groups.


Bridging a gap in support services

By integrating Togetherall into their support ecosystem, Queen Mary University of London is not only addressing the needs of its large student population but acting on its vision and values for DEI excellence.

  1. Anonymity: Togetherall’s platform allowed students to seek support without the potential stigma attached to traditional counselling services. This encouraged a broader range of students to engage and share their experiences anonymously.
  2. Accessibility: Togetherall’s 24/7 availability and around-the-clock moderation make it suitable for an expanding education institution with students located across the globe.
  3. Peer-to-Peer Network: QMUL recognized the potential of Togetherall’s peer-to-peer support network to foster a sense of community and shared experience among students.
  4. Prevention and Complementary Support: Togetherall became an essential resource for students seeking preventive measures and a complementary support option. It helped bridge the gap between students who might not have approached traditional counselling services and those who needed additional avenues for their wellbeing.


Contact Togetherall today to learn more about how our platform can enhance your institution’s mental health support services and promote a culture of wellbeing among your student community. Together, we can make a positive impact on students’ mental health and create a supportive environment for their holistic development.