In June, the Universities Minister Sam Gyimah announced that we would be developing a University Mental Health Charter.
Since then Student Minds have been hard at work behind the scenes, consulting with colleagues and experts, appointing the charter team and developing our methodology. We have now appointed a project manager and content development lead and are starting to shape our plans for developing this exciting piece of work.
Developing a fresh approach
In 2017, UUK’s Step Change Framework called for universities to think beyond the provision of services, towards a whole university approach to mental health. The charter will embody this approach and we are working with UUK to ensure it is aligned with the refreshed Step Change Framework, due to be launched in September 2019.
The charter will be designed to help universities develop genuinely holistic approaches and to recognise those that are already delivering excellent work.
Our intention is to make the charter ambitious and stretching. We want to ask the sector what the ideal approach to student mental health would that look like and how would we know? We want the charter to have a long-term and transformative effect on the mental health of all of university communities.
To deliver this, we hope that the final charter will cover a broad range of dimensions, accounting for every aspect of university life that can have a significant impact on mental health. We hope that in ten years, the majority of universities will have gained or will be working towards charter status and that this will represent another step change in improving mental wellbeing within our universities.
We wrote for WonkHE sharing our next steps for the University Mental Health Charter, including our key principles, research methodology and how you can get involved, you can find out more here. We look forward to sharing more updates in the new year!