First time students who may struggle with mental health issues should access help before term starts, says the University Mental Health Advisers Network, UMHAN.
The organisation was set up to help students find qualified support at their chosen university. Members adhere to a high set of standards to maintain their accreditation.
“UMHAN would like students to know that we hold a public membership list of all mental health advisors and mental health mentors working in UK universities,” says Marta Polizzi, UMHAN Co-ordinator.
UMHAN recommends students should check with their choices of university to ensure mental health facilities are clearly sign posted with quick and easy access to counselling centres together with wellbeing advisers and mentors. First time students, who may experience issues surrounding positive mental health, can always contact their chosen university, or search the UMHAN and Student Minds’ websites, in advance to see what may be helpful to consider and what support can be offered when they start.
“It’s crucial that students can clearly see how many mental health specialists work in the university they’re considering to be the launching pad for their career,” explains Marta.
“Our members are proactive, knowledgeable and experienced in the promotion and delivery of mental health support and initiatives in innovative ways that will inspire and support students within the university community.”
UMHAN members have a thorough knowledge of current statutory mental health and equality legislation and duty of care requirements. They also set out to promote equality, inclusion and the rights of those with mental health conditions studying in higher education.
“Our members support and encourage creative, educational opportunities to help build confidence, self-esteem and consider new pathways for social integration and self-development.”
“They effectively manage a caseload of students who require frequent on-going mental health support in line with best practice, providing expert advice on how to manage their academic studies and providing emotional support.”
NOTES TO EDITORS: The University Mental Health Advisers Network (UMHAN) is a national UK charity. UMHAN is a network of mental health specialists working in the Higher / Further Education sector. Its’ members are dedicated to, and have a practical role in, providing support to students experiencing mental health difficulties.
Duncan Little, Specialist Mental Health Mentor