Safer and more effective Mental Health Services in Higher Education
Clinical Governance for Mental Health Services in Education was launched on the 15th University Mental Health Day, in March 2023, with an accompanying blog post.
It was written in order to support the sector to develop and improve the quality of support and interventions for student mental health. It draws on the wide range of expertise, training and knowledge of UMHAN's membership, across multiple professional disciplines, and from a variety of institutions.
The safety of both students and staff is paramount, and the thread which links the contents together.
What is Clinical Governance?
Our guidance is based on the concept of Clinical Governance, introduced into the NHS in the late 1990s. It is a collective term for activities that sustain and improve standards, contributing to the safe and effective delivery of interventions within a setting that is providing support.
In simple terms, it is a form of quality assurance for mental health support provision.
Why do we need Clinical Governance?
Clinical Governance ensures that Mental Health Services operate safely, minimising potential risks to students and staff. All mental health interventions carry the risk of doing harm rather than good and without the parameters of good governance in place it is possible that individual staff and services deliver interventions that are sub-optimal or even harmful. In addition, the principles of Clinical Governance create a climate of trust and confidence in the service, which is vital to ensure students benefit from interventions offered, and that staff feel supported in their demanding roles.
This document focuses on services in Higher Education, but the principles and practice can be adapted for any educational setting.
We hope that all universities and education providers committed to good student and staff mental health and wellbeing will use this document. It may be especially relevant for those:
The document aligns with the 10 Essential Shared Capabilities of UMHAN's Capability and Conduct Framework