Towards an understanding of student stress and mental health in the studio classroom

A lecturer’s changing role in a modern society.


  • Tara Michelle Winters The University of Auckland
  • Barbara Helen Snook The University of Auckland


creative arts education; student mental health and wellbeing; studio pedagogy


Recent discussions as creative arts academics have brought about a realisation that our roles have changed when it comes to supporting students in our courses. It appears that student stress and mental illness, is becoming more the norm than the exception. When we questioned our expertise to research students’ mental health issues, we concluded that it was the responsibility of all of us who teach, and determined our need to communicate the issues. Our respective areas of study in the University of Auckland’s Creative Arts and Industries, are Fine Arts and Dance. This article focuses on how we recognise students who are struggling and what we do in our respective departments to assist students. Research that examines the escalating problem of stress and mental health amongst students is discussed alongside our study.