Stepchange: mentally healthy universities

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, Universities UK has published a refreshed call for action and framework guidance document - "Stepchange: mentally healthy universities".

The vision set out in this document is for:

"UK universities to be places that promote mental health and wellbeing, enabling all students and staff to thrive and succeed to their best potential."

This guidance builds upon the work of Student Minds and the development of the University Mental Health Charter.

This framework encourages principles of good practice relating to four domains:

  • learn - including various aspects of teaching, learning and assessment;
  • support - including a range of support services within and outside the higher education institution;
  • work - bringing together staff mental health with student mental health; and
  • live - including the promotion of healthy activities, residential accommodation and leadership.

It is recognised that a university needs to develop its institutional-wide approach in collaboration with relevant external health and care bodies who can provide professional support where that is appropriate. The document rightly notes the care which is needed in respect of sharing personal data.

Within the learning domain, Fitness to Study and Fitness to Practice policies are highlighted.

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