As a membership organisation, UMHAN is committed to being responsive to our members. As such, we routinely survey our membership to ensure that we continually improve our service, and can confidently represent our members' voices and experience to the sector and beyond.
As well as asking for feedback on UMHAN as an organisation, we also ask for information about caseloads and working conditions.
The key findings from this report show that well over half of respondents have seen an increase in caseload over the past 12 months.
We define “high risk” in terms of deteriorating mental health, severity of mental health condition, suicide, serious self-harm, neglect, abuse, becoming socially isolated, or experiencing significant disruption to their education. 71% of Specialist Mental Health Mentors and 58% of Mental Health Advisers have identified an increased number of "high risk" students on their caseload.
This comes at a time when staff themselves are facing uncertainty about working conditions, and when Mentors in particular are facing pay cuts.
UMHAN members are subject to our Supervision and CPD requirements, which we believe help to ensure safe practice, and high quality provision for students with Mental Health Conditions. Even so, some struggle to be able to fulfil these requirements - 26% stated that they did not feel supported by their employer to access resources, meetings, training and CPD.
Our recommendations include:
- Where caseloads are high, models of casework and modes of delivery should be reviewed to guarantee workload allocation ensures safe practice.
- Specialist staff should be provided with appropriate supervision and CPD opportunities to enable them to properly support increasing and more complex presentations of mental ill health and risk.
- Employers should undertake risk assessments for all in-person work in this area, as per recommendations by the Health & Safety Executive.
To read more, please download our report.