Supporting people before and during Higher Education
These pages are focused on how you could help a person with a mental health condition to successfully transition into HE and to optimise their experience while studying.
Rights and Resources
Please take a moment to read our information pages for students. Evidence suggests that many students are unaware of their legal rights, and the full range of support available to them. Over 18s will be treated as adults by Universities, and it may be harder for you as a parent, or supporter to advocate on their behalf. It's therefore important that they themselves are aware of their rights - you can support them by encouraging them to research further into this.
With respect to health care provision, you may wish to have a look at the Royal College of Psychiatrists' report on the mental health of students and the Student Minds report on transitional support for students with eating disorders, the recommendations of which relate to a wide range of mental health difficulties too. You can download both of these documents below.
Transition to University
Some Universities are huge, with 1000s of students and 1000s of staff. Disclosing a mental health condition to one part of the university does not automatically mean that they will access all of the support they are used to receiving at school or college. We would encourage anyone whose mental health (at it's worst) might effect their study to disclose this on their application form. You can read more about this on our adjoining pages.
Pastoral support varies from place to place - you should be able to find out more about this by researching on websites, but also during open day visits. Please look at our page "Choosing the right place for you" for more thoughts on what to consider before starting university. Our page "What support is available" lists the common sorts of support and how this can be accessed.
It's really important for support to be as joined-up as possible, so a starting point might be for the student or yourself to discuss any issues or concerns with a Mental Health Adviser at the institution the student is going to or currently studying at. They will have information sharing protocols already set up and should be able to talk you through these.
Well aHead Partners
Well aHead is an innovative project developed by Nottingham Trent University (NTU) which aims to create a range of opportunities for partner agencies to promote social inclusion for people with mental health difficulties with NTU. It is available to download here.