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New agreement on student mental health rolled out

A new commitment to student mental health at the University of Aberdeen (@aberdeenuni) has been launched.

The Student Mental Health Agreement (SMHA) outlines shared priorities between the University and Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) for the academic period 2022 -2024.  

The agreement will raise awareness of support available, encourage, promote and facilitate student self-care and ensure that support services are both available and accessible to all.

It also commits to the continued development of training, resources and support for staff as well as supporting Schools within the University to develop a more consistent approach to study related support.

Professor Abbe Brown, Dean for Student Support, said:

“We are dedicated to caring for the wellbeing, health and safety of our diverse community and the SMHA 2022 – 2024 will fully support that.

“We have defined wellbeing as “the state of being comfortable, happy or healthy”, encompassing all areas of life including personal, study, work, physical exercise, nutrition, and mental health. 

“We recognise that each of us has mental health which can be measured on a continuum. Depending on the circumstances of any individual at any time, they may find themselves at one point of the continuum and shift position as their situation improves or deteriorates.”   

Ivana Drdáková, Vice President for Welfare at AUSA, said:

“The agreed priorities in the SMHA have been informed by student consultation and support both AUSA and UOA strategies. By working together, we will enhance the inclusive environment and positive culture at UOA, supporting students to maintain positive mental health; manage problems and support the prevention of mental ill health.”

The agreement will be delivered by an annual action plan which features a series of activities including events promoting student experiences of using university support services, social media content and training and support for staff. The plan will be reviewed and developed regularly.

The agreement was signed by Professor Brown and Ivana Drdáková on Monday, 31 January, at an ‘Unmute’ event featuring a talk from new University rector Martina Chukwuma-Ezike. Students had the opportunity to ask questions as well as meet therapets, dogs Bear and Leo, at the event at Union Brew.

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