Student Minds are delighted to welcome the 60 universities joining the University Mental Health Charter Programme in its second year, demonstrating their commitment to improving support for staff and student mental health.
Published in 2019, the Charter Framework provides a set of evidence-informed principles to support universities across the UK in making mental health a university-wide priority. The Charter Programme brings together universities committed to working towards these principles to share practice and create cultural change. This includes a commitment to working with staff and students to provide adequately resourced and effective support services, as well as creating an environment and culture that reduces poor mental health and promotes good mental health for the whole university community.
The 60 universities on the Charter Programme form part of a UK-wide practice sharing network with access to events and opportunities to come together to improve their whole university approach to student and staff mental health. Programme members can also work towards the Charter Award, an accreditation scheme which recognises universities that demonstrate excellent practice.
From our own research, we have found that 1 in 3 students find being at university negatively impacts their mental health, with 1 in 4 students having a diagnosed mental health issue. A variety of issues are negatively impacting student mental health such as loneliness, the cost of living and the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Therefore it is vital that we continue to build on the great work universities have already done in the past two years on the Programme, continue to learn from one another and make mental health and wellbeing a priority right across higher education.
The Charter Programme was developed in consultation with staff and students, with initial funding from the UPP Foundation and the Office for Students and further funding from Jisc and the Charlie Watkins Foundation. We’d like to give special thanks to the University of Derby, Hartpury University and Glasgow Caledonian University, who supported us to pilot the Programme in 2020.
We are delighted to be working with the following 60 universities to create cultural changes on their campuses: