Our goal is to create a University Mental Health Charter that is shaped by the experience and expertise of our university communities. That’s why we spent the whole of March listening to students, students’ unions, staff and senior leaders across the UK as part of the University Mental Health Charter Road Trip and online survey.
Last month we visited 6 university campuses in 4 countries; starting at Staffordshire University, before travelling to University of Strathclyde, Leeds University Union, University of the Arts London, Ulster University and Cardiff University SU. The events brought together 360 staff and students from 181 diverse universities, student unions and organisations.
An incredible 2274 of you participated in our online survey, sharing your thoughts and ideas around how to create mentally healthy university communities. It has been truly inspiring to learn from so many staff and students who are doing amazing work at their institutions and are full of ambition to build a better future for university mental health.
Through our road trip workshops, focus groups and online survey, staff and students have shared their expert insights on a range of themes including promoting good mental health, learning and teaching, support services, and staff wellbeing. On the road trip, students and students’ unions also participated in co-creation workshops where they designed the mentally healthy universities of the future. Together, we have explored possibilities for the Charter’s major themes, its structure and assessment metrics.
The keynotes who joined us on the road trip- Natasha Devon MBE, Prof. Mark Dooris & Prof. Sue Powell, Dr Sandeep Ranote, Jill Stevenson, Dr Dominique Thompson, and Rosie Tressler - inspired each of us to continue to create cultural change in our universities.
Our team of experienced researchers will now analyse all the feedback and evidence we collected on the road trip and through the survey. Together with our partners UUK, we will work with panels of sector experts to review what you have told us and begin to shape the Charter. We will publish headline findings from the consultation later in 2019, before testing and piloting the final scheme to be launched in 2020.
Thank you to all those who participated in the Charter consultation, both in person and online. It has been amazing to see the university community coming together to create positive change. Together, we're building a Charter which is truly ambitious and will challenge universities across the UK to make student and staff mental health a university-wide priority.