The University Mental Health Charter was co-created with staff and students from over 200 higher education organisations across the UK. It provides a set of principles of good practice that challenge universities to go beyond baseline requirements and make mental health a university-wide priority.
Data shows that over 70% of universities do not currently have a strategy for mental health yet many report more than a 25% increase in demand for counselling services over the last five years (IPPR, 2017). Similarly, staff referrals for counselling have risen by 77% between 2009 and 2015 (HEPI, 2019).
The Charter encourages universities to provide consistently high-quality services and be proactive in promoting good mental health, ensuring the needs of all staff and students, including BAME, LGBTQ+, and widening participation population groups, are met. It will form the basis of the upcoming Charter Award Scheme, being developed in 2020, which will recognise and reward universities that promote good mental health and demonstrate good practice.
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