UMHAN has been working as a key player in developing a new project focusing on Higher Education student and staff mental health and wellbeing. The project, developing a framework for institutions based on a whole-university approach to understanding mental health, was launched on December 2nd.
The programme aims to have every university pursuit actively involve mental health and wellbeing. This approach intends to encourage openness and discussion among both students and staff, empowering all involved to understand and address mental health difficulties within the university setting. The project is led by Professor Steve West, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of England.
The project’s goals, as set out on the Universities UK website, are as follows:
- 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 March 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.
Lydia Pell, UMHAN Chair, said:
“UMHAN is delighted to be involved in this innovative project. The project has brought together all members of the university community, to highlight best practice in supporting students with mental illness and in proactive preventative work so that all members of the university community may have good mental health.”