What is UMHAN?
The University Mental Health Advisers Network (UMHAN) is a national UK charity, with 17 years experience in student mental health. We are a network of mental health specialists working in education. Our members are dedicated to, and have a practical role in, providing support to students experiencing long term mental health conditions.
Despite our name, we welcome mental health professionals from across the education sector - including schools and FE.
UMHAN aims to articulate the practical and strategic benefits of the specialist roles we represent, and seeks to disseminate this information and guidance for best practice across the sector.
UMHAN aims to promote the health and citizenship of people who experience mental health conditions in education and advocate to relevant bodies to promote the rights and interests of students with mental health conditions. Our campaigns and collaborative work help us to achieve these aims.
Find out more about our aims.
Why join UMHAN?
As a member, you can make the most of UMHAN’s supportive membership network and share valuable experiences and good practice with other Mental Health Practitioners and Specialist Mentors based at institutions across the UK.
UMHAN members can keep up-to-date on policy developments, changes in legislation, projects and events through our active discussion forum and by attending regular members' meetings. These meetings are a great opportunity to meet staff in similar roles working across the UK or in your local area; access face to face peer support, and enhance your professional development. External speakers are regularly invited to provide training opportunities on a range of current and relevant topics. Please see our Membership Benefits page for more information.
What our members say
"I find UMHAN such an amazing resource and support network "
"Understanding what occurs at different universities is invaluable. Often certain approaches or ideas don't translate wholesale from one university to the next but it helps us to think creatively and minimise the risk of "silo" approaches."
"UMHAN membership and the different fora ensure I can critically appraise best practices and ensure the institution is meeting moral and practical duties to students."
"The role of UMHAN in bringing together the wider network of mentors and the support it has provided has been amazing, particularly having a central place to go to, to discuss and share with mentors outside of our university. The resources, advice and support have benefited not just us as mentors but also the wider student support team. The jisc-mail for mentors has been really helpful and the first regional meeting I was able to attend was also a great opportunity to meet other mentors working in this area and discuss things."
What we don't do
Membership is only likely to be of benefit to people who come into contact with students with mental health conditions as a substantive part of their role. We are not able to accept applications from people seeking to enter the professions, such as those wanting to work as mentors but without a professional qualification.
UMHAN is not a general interest group about student mental health; nor a replacement for existing organisations who support disability practitioners (such as National Association of Disability Practitioners) or counsellors (such as the Association of University and College Counselling or Heads of University Counselling Services).
We are also not a trade union and so not able to represent members to their employers, although we do make representations to decision-making bodies for our membership as a whole. We recommend members join a trade union and undertake research about which unions their employers/professions recognise.