The aim of the project is to develop a mental health framework for
universities to embed mental health and wellbeing across all university
The new programme was launched today at a Universities UK meeting
of university leaders in London. Leading the programme is Professor Steve West,
Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England and chair of
Universities UK's Working Group on Mental Health in Higher Education.
At the launch, university heads also heard from Gregor Henderson,
National Lead for Mental Health and Wellbeing for Public
Health England, Rosie Tressler, Chief Executive of the charity Student Minds and Hamish Elvidge,
Chair of the Matthew Elvidge Trust.
Professor West said: “Much of the debate around mental health in
higher education has focused on demand for university counselling and support
services. With fifty per cent of school leavers now entering university, and
increased awareness of mental health generally, this is a challenge for
“This programme, however, is about getting universities to think
about mental health and wellbeing across all their activities. From students
and teaching, through to academics and support staff.
“It means being open about mental health and promoting the
anti-stigma campaigns that are already making a difference. And ensuring that
students and staff know where to turn if they need support.
“Dealing with mental health is an issue for society as a whole,
not just universities. But I am pleased that, through this sector-led
initiative, universities are taking a lead in this area.”