We have revised our strategy for student mental health and wellbeing for 2021-2025.
In revising our strategy, we are renewing our commitment to working together as a whole University to:
- promote student wellbeing;
- prevent mental ill-health where possible;
- respond to problems early;
- ensure that students who experience mental ill-health while at the University are well supported;
- minimise the adverse effects of mental ill-health on student life.
We commit to a fully inclusive approach, recognising that people face unequal challenges to their mental health, and seeking to identify, understand and address these inequalities. The strategy and its implementation views co-production with students and staff as critical, recognising the need for all aspects of university life to promote and support student mental health.
The strategy has nine strategic aims:
- To continue to embrace a “whole university” approach, engaging all sections of the University community in advancing the student mental health agenda, and ensuring that student mental health is considered when planning and developing wider University policy.
- To provide strong, visible leadership to take forward our commitment to mental health as an ongoing strategic priority, continuing to provide an inclusive university environment that:
- builds communities in which our students can thrive;
- is conducive to good mental health;
- minimises contextual risk factors for mental ill-health;
- raises awareness of the services provided to support students, and how to access them;
- reduces the stigma associated with mental ill-health by encouraging a culture of openness.
- To maintain and strengthen our collaborative links with external agencies (particularly the NHS, City of York Council and voluntary organisations), to promote continuity of support and care across organisational boundaries and ensure that service provision meets the needs of all our students.
- To ensure effective communication, to link different sources of data on mental health and wellbeing and to share information within the University, and with external agencies as appropriate. We will work together with students to ensure that information and data linkage and sharing is welcome and supports their wellbeing.
- To support and empower students, through good quality, timely and accessible information, guidance and access to services, to understand and proactively manage their own wellbeing and mental health, emphasising not just preventing problems and/or seeking help, but promoting positive wellbeing.
- To identify pre-existing conditions and early signs of distress and mental ill-health and to support students in a timely and proportionate way to access services where appropriate.
- To seek to identify, understand and address personal, cultural and structural factors that may affect an individual’s ability to engage with the University’s wellbeing and mental health services; reviewing our processes and structures to remove any barriers to accessing care.
- To make good use of data, research evidence and feedback from students and staff to evaluate and improve our provision.
- To conduct high quality student-centred mental health research and use this to better understand the student lived experience and ensure our approach is effective and efficient.