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Mental health services for students

With half of all school leavers going to university, students now form a significant group within the young adult population. But their health needs remain largely unrecognised. It is essential that these young people are provided with the right support at each step of the pathway.

Minding our future aims to improve links between local NHS services and the support that universities provide. The prospectus sets out students' characteristics and vulnerabilities and new guidance to improve the coordination of care between the NHS and universities so that all students can access the care they need. 


UUK adopted mental health as a proactive policy priority in 2016, launching the programme to improve the mental health of students and staff across higher education.

This sits alongside previous work on mental health in higher education including Universities UK's (UUK's) #StepChange framework and the MWBHE Student mental wellbeing in higher education: good practice guide.

Our task group

The Services Task Group, chaired by Paul Jenkins, was formed to shape and advise the work, which has also been explored and discussed extensively with wider stakeholders.

The programme has benefited from the high levels of engagement and energy shown by Task Group members.

Task group members

  • Paul Jenkins (chair), Chief Executive Officer at The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and Vice Chair of the Mental Health Network​

  • Ben Bailey and Jayne Aldridge, Association of Managers of Student Services in Higher Education

  • Jeremy Christey, British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy Universities & Colleges

  • Jackie Cornish, NHS England

  • John de Pury, Universities UK

  • Michael Doherty, Royal College of Psychiatrists

  • Helen Garnham, Public Health England

  • Clare Lamb, Royal College of Psychiatrists

  • Toni Mank, IAPT Lead at NHS England

  • Liz Maudslay, Association of Colleges

  • Gedminte Mikulenaite, Universities UK

  • Lydia Pell and Dan Doran, The University Mental Health Advisers Network

  • Dominique Thompson, Buzz Consulting

  • Rachel Piper, Student Minds

  • Fleur Priest-Stephens, National Union of Students

  • Miranda Wolpert, Anna Freud Centre

Student and staff voice

Student Minds and the Mental Health Network supported our call for evidence to students and service providers. The surveys helped us identify the good practice in the sector and the ways in which mental health support and pathways between care and universities services can be improved. 

Contact & social media

For more information on this work, please contact Universities UK's enquiries service or tweet us @UniversitiesUK #stepchange #studentmentalhealth #mindingourfuture.​

Useful information

The team

John de Pury

John de Pury

Assistant Director
Universities UK

Kristen Hindes

Kristen Hindes

Executive Assistant
Universities UK

Gedminte Mikulenaite

Gedminte Mikulenaite

Policy Researcher
Universities UK


Cover of guidance on preventing student suicides

Guidance for universities on preventing student suicides

5 September 2018
UUK and PAPYRUS, the UK's national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide, have published new guidance to help university leaders prevent student suicides.

Mental Health Policy Commission: Investing in a Resilient Generation

2 July 2018
UUK response to new report from the Mental Health Policy Commission.

New data published on student suicide rates

26 June 2018
UUK response to ONS data on student suicide rates.