LJMU signs up to the University Mental Health Charter to commit to student and staff’s mental health.
Over 60 universities across the country have signed up to be part of the Student Minds’ University Mental Health Charter Framework to support universities across the UK in making mental health a university-wide priority.
The University Mental Health Charter, launched by the Student Minds mental health charity, will see LJMU adopt a whole university wide approach to mental health and wellbeing.
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 charter will bring together the 60 universities from across the UK to share key practices and create cultural change.
As a member of the charter, LJMU will improve practice, policy and strategy across the university to work towards accreditation of the University Mental Health Charter Award. As part of LJMU’s commitment to the charter, the Student Advice and Wellbeing Team has also appointed a new project officer, Alexandra O’Brien.
As part of the work around the University Mental Health Charter, LJMU will start to develop and review procedures linked to the Universities UK guidance, announced this month, on when contacting key family members, carers or friends, might be appropriate, if the university has serious concerns about a student’s mental health.
Professor Phil Vickerman, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student Experience, said:
“LJMU takes its commitment to our community, our students, and their mental health, seriously.
It’s why we’ve signed up to the charter and why we’re looking at how we integrate, into existing processes, the Universities UK’s new guidance to notify a student’s trusted contact if we have serious concerns.”
Yvonne Turnbull, Director of Student Advice and Wellbeing and lead for LJMU’s Mental Health Charter said:
“Signing up to the University Mental Health Charter is more important now than ever as we see the cost of living crisis begin to affect our whole university community. Our Student Advice and Wellbeing service has provided essential support to our students, particularly over the past few years, but there is still so much more to be done in terms of preventative measures that can really help our students and staff.”
Research from Student Minds shows:
- The number of students declaring a pre-existing mental illness to their university has more than double since 2014/2015
- Students experiencing mental illness are more likely to withdraw from university, to underperform and are less likely to secure higher level employment or go on to postgraduate study
- There has been significant rises in the number of Higher Education staff across the UK accessing counselling and occupational health services
Yvonne Turnbull continues: “By signing up to the charter, we are not only committing to putting the mental health of our community first, but holding ourselves accountable to making change happen, by creating adequate and effective resources and proactive interventions.
“Signing up to the Mental Health Charter is just one of many initiatives LJMU is putting into place across the whole university for students and staff during this difficult economic time.”
Student Minds, the UK’s Student Mental Health Charity, said:
“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.”
You can find out more about the University Mental Health Charter here.
Find out more about the resources for staff this World Mental Health Day and beyond.
Find out more about the wellbeing events for students over the next semester.
Or contact Project Officer, Alexandra O’Brien about LJMU’s Mental Health Charter.