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, carer or supporter to advocate on their behalf. It's really 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 from 2021 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. The links to both of these documents are below.

Mental health of higher education students

Integrating Care for Eating Disorders at Home and at University

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 affect their studies to disclose this on their application form. 

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 at uni?" lists the common kinds of support and how they 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.

This video shares the evidence underpinning student success in terms of well-being - what's vitally important is avoiding social isolation.

Student Mental Health_v3 - NIHR from Nifty Fox Creative on Vimeo.

Well aHead 

Well aHead was an innovative project developed by Nottingham Trent University (NTU) to encourage people with mental health difficulties to consider studying Higher Education (HE) courses at NTU. It provided information, advice and guidance to prospective students in order to assist them in making an informed choice about whether studying at NTU would be something they wanted to pursue and addressed common concerns and fears there may be around studying. 

University Mental Health Advisers Network (UMHAN). c/o The Moseley Exchange, 149-153 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8JP Tel: 07510 734544 Registered charity number: 1155038. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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