Connecting Postgraduate Students and Older Adults in the Community to Support Wellbeing: A Service-Learning Module During COVID-19 and Beyond. A Practice Report

Donata Puntil, Gisele Dias, Carolina Kralj, Cathy Deplessis, Elizabeth Rylance-Watson, Carol Ma, Patricia A. Zunszain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this practice report is to discuss the implementation of a service-learning module developed to support the psychological wellbeing of postgraduate students and older adults in the community, with a view to fostering their connection and tackling loneliness in both populations. The module, ‘Self-Identity, Intergenerational and Intercultural Learning’ (SIIL), was offered to students enrolled in the Mental Health Studies Master of Science at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London. The module included lectures on the scientific underpinnings of wellbeing and ageism positionally within intercultural and intergenerational contexts. Students were introduced to qualitative research with a focus on autoethnography. They engaged with older adults through phone conversations and undertook wellbeing-promoting experiential exercises and self-reflection. The interactions provided students the opportunity to learn at an academic and personal level, while allowing older adults to share their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. These lessons learnt will inform future practice. Future directions for further developments of this methodology in other disciplines are also discussed in this practice report.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalStudent Success
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • art-based methodologies
  • autoethnography
  • community
  • intercultural learning
  • intergenerational
  • loneliness
  • postgraduate
  • Wellbeing

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