Over the last five years the proportion of disabled students
who declared a mental health condition increased from 5.9% in 2007-08 to 9.6% in
2011-12 and from 0.4% to 0.8% of the entire student population.
This guidance updates the Guidelines on Student Mental Health Policies and Procedures
for Higher Education published in 2000 by taking account of the requirements of today’s
students, the increasing diversity of higher education providers and the different
policies and practices that have emerged across the four nations of the United
Implicit within the guidance is an understanding that all higher education policies and
procedures should serve natural justice, and thereby support and recognise students’
The guidance highlights the following areas for consideration in developing
institutional policies and procedures:
Each institution is different and the use of this guidance will depend on the nature of
the student cohort and the particular challenges the institution may face. Our aim
is to encourage, and to inform further developments within individual institutions.
The student focus remains, but we also highlight the importance of promoting and
supporting the mental wellbeing of staff. Institutions may find it helpful to set up a
mental wellbeing working group to review and implement the recommendations set
out in this guidance and to monitor and evaluate outcomes.