Home > News and blog > New programme to address mental health and wellbeing in universities

New programme to address mental health and wellbeing in universities

Universities UK has launched a new programme of work to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff in higher education.

The aim of the project is to develop a mental health framework for universities to embed mental health and wellbeing across all university activities.

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 universities.

“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.”

The programme intends to:

  • Establish a more robust evidence base on mental health and wellbeing in higher education via a research partnership with IPPR. This will report at the Universities UK mental health conference in Autumn 2017 and at the UUK Summer members' meeting
  • Set out the case for institutions to see mental health as a strategic priority and to develop a whole-institution framework in support
  • Establish baseline data on the mental health of our populations and the effectiveness of interventions in place
  • Promote adoption of the university mental health framework and audit across the higher education sector and to help the exchange of good practice
  • Develop guidelines for the co-commissioning of mental health services for university populations working with Public Health England, clinical experts and key stakeholders, including students. 

Key Contacts

Jo Hindle

Jo Hindle

Head of Media
Universities UK

Luke Lambert

Luke Lambert

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Senior Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

Events

Blog

A-level results day and Clearing 2019: reasons to be cheerful

12 August 2019
As A-level results day approaches, UUK’s Daniel Wake looks at recent trends in university admissions, and provides some final information to applicants, who for the first time can choose to put themselves into ‘Clearing’.

Higher education policy priorities for the new prime minister

31 July 2019
UUK's Karmjit Kaur on how new Prime Minister Boris Johnson can can help maximise the role of universities for both his domestic and global ambitions.

News

Thousands more should be able to do Degree Apprenticeships

15 July 2019
Bold action is needed from government to reform the degree apprenticeship system so many more people can become degree apprentices, according to a major report published today by Universities UK.

Universities UK response to the National Student Survey 2019

3 July 2019
UUK has responded to the results of the 2019 National Student Survey (NSS)