Panelists announced for 20th March Web Discussion on University Mental Health Policy
Student Wellbeing Web Summit Panel Discussion, Wednesday 20th March, 14.00-15.30pm
Higher Education and mental health experts will be exploring the question ‘What should a university mental health policy look like?’ as part of the Web Summit ran by Mental Wealth UK
and Open Your Mind.
In 2011, the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ urged all universities to have in place a formal mental health policy. The issue has been made all the more pressing by data released in 2012 that suggested that there has been a marked increase in student suicides since 2008.
- Considering that every institution is different, what measures should institutions put in place to support the mental health of their students?
- As the student community changes each year, how should a policy be maintained to ensure it’s up to date and fit for purpose?
It is hoped that this discussion will be useful to staff and students working to promote mental health on campuses, as well as further national efforts to coordinate the promotion of mental health across the sector.
To take part please register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4245777693707723776. You will then be sent information about how to access the discussion room and will have the opportunity to share your thoughts and questions during the event.
Chris Brill, Policy Advisor, Equality Challenge Unit
In 2012, the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) reported on the problem of low disclosure rates from university students with mental health problems. The ECU is currently surveying students to look at how universities can support students experiencing mental health problems. Chris Brill is the project lead for work on Equality in Higher Education, and previously worked at the National Autistic Society where he gained experience in disability equality issues.
Ruth Caleb, Secretary, Working Group for Promotion of Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education (MWBHE), Head of Counselling, Brunel University
MWBHE is a national working group hosted by Universities UK and GuildHE that aims to promote collaboration between the different sectors, agencies and professional groups with responsibility for mental well-being in HE, and to influence policy within the subject area. The group contains membership from 9 of the leading bodies and groups concerned with mental health in higher education, and is due to survey universities to find out how many have mental health policies in place this year, following a similar survey in 2008 (as reported on in the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ 2011 report).
Sharon Doherty, Healthy University Coordinator, Healthy Universities / Healthy Settings Development Officer, University of Central Lancashire.
The Healthy Universities project has received widespread recognition and support for its advocacy of a whole-university approach to promoting health and wellbeing, and was recommended in the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ 2011 report into student mental health. Sharon Doherty has spent 20 years in public health & health promotion, and is currently based in the Healthy Settings Unit at the University of Central Lancashire, where, alongside supporting the Healthy Universities framework, she consults locally, regionally, and nationally, on delivering healthy settings approaches.
Colum McGuire, Welfare Zone Committee Member, National Union of Students / VP Welfare, Kent Students’ Union
As Vice President for Welfare, Colum represents students at Kent University on various issues relating to student welfare and recently led the Students’ Union’s Mental Health Week. He was also elected onto the NUS Welfare Committee, who steer the work of the National Union of Students Welfare Zone.
Ed Pinkney, Project Coordinator, Open Your Mind (National Union of Students – Union of Students Ireland)
Open Your Mind is the NUS Group’s Northern Ireland mental health project, and is co-run by NUS-USI and Mindwise. As the oldest student-led mental health project in the UK, having been launched in 2007 with support from the Big Lottery Fund, Open Your Mind delivers accredited mental health training and campaigning opportunities to students. Ed Pinkney took over leadership of the project in January 2013 after founding Mental Wealth UK in 2010, and has written about the challenges of implementing national guidelines for students’ mental health.