Since 2002, Universities UK (UUK) has hosted a standing group on Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education (MWBHE), currently chaired by Dr Ruth Caleb. The MWBHE group produced the Student mental wellbeing in higher education: good practice guide in 2015 and each year they organise a well-attended conference. The members of the group have provided invaluable expertise and funding to the Mental Health in Higher Education programme.
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.
The MHHE Working Group, chaired by Professor Steve West, 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 Working Group members.
MHHE has been supported in this first phase by the following funders.
The first objective of the programme was to develop and agree a vision and framework to encourage university leaders to adopt a whole institution approach to improving mental health. This component of the work has been led by the UUK Policy group.
Student Minds worked with the National Union of Students and UUK to organise two Student Voice fora, where students shared their lived experience of mental health at university and the support they need to thrive. The full report is available on Student Minds website (4 September 2017).
UUK is working with the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE), Cardiff University, University of York, and Student Minds to pilot and implement the vision and strategic framework, with funding from Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
The components of that project will be to:
A task group has been created to develop good practice frameworks for mental health care for higher education students and staff.
The aim of the documents will be to provide guidance: