Stepchange: mentally healthy universities

front cover of stepchange mentally healthy universities: an abstracted illustration of a student walking across campus

Stepchange: mentally healthy universities is a refreshed strategic framework for a whole university approach to mental health and wellbeing at universities. It calls on universities to see mental health as foundational to all aspects of university life, for all students and all staff.

UK universities should be places that promote mental health and wellbeing, enabling all students and all staff to thrive and succeed to  their best potential. We can achieve this by all universities making mental health a strategic priority and adopting a whole university approach. This publication is a call to action and a shared framework for change.

Download Stepchange: mentally healthy universities

What is a whole university approach? 

Good mental health enables learning, work and community. It is fundamental to the core mission of universities. The whole university approach recommends that all aspects of university life promote and support student and staff mental health. 

Find out more about what a whole university approach means on page 12 of Stepchange: mentally healthy universities

Self assessment tool 

UUK and the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC) have developed a self assessment tool to encourage universities to plan and implement a whole university approach. Each section reflects the structure of the Stepchange: mentally healthy universities framework and includes sets of questions for university leaders and teams. 

Download the self assessment tool


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11 April 2021
With student and young people’s wellbeing at risk, universities are keen to ensure that students can experience the positive learning and wellbeing benefits of returning to Covid-safe campuses for the summer term.

University mental health teams 'plugging the gaps' in NHS services

10 March 2021
Universities UK is calling on the government to urgently turn its focus towards supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing in the weeks and months ahead.


What's Up With Everyone? characters Merve, Charlie, Tai, Ashley and Alex

What’s Up With Everyone? Starting a conversation about students’ mental health

4 March 2021
​This University Mental Health Day, Professor Paul Crawford of the University of Nottingham discusses the new campaign What’s Up With Everyone? and explains why it is so important to support students’ mental health literacy.