In response to the Office for Students announcement of £6m for universities and colleges to develop innovative ways to combat student mental health Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said:
“Going to university should be a positive, life-changing experience, but for students facing mental health problems it can pose a significant barrier to thriving in higher education.
“Many universities are providing valuable support to their students but there is further to go to make sure all students have the support they need in place. Our universities are world-leading in so many areas and I want them to be the best for mental health support too.
“We have been working with the sector to tackle this important issue, including through Student Minds’ Mental Health Charter and setting up a taskforce to help students tackle challenges they face when they start university.
“I am pleased the Office for Students is driving forward action on this vital priority, and these innovative projects will help to improve mental health support by allowing institutions to find what really works to help those students in need.”
Last year, we announced support for a new university mental health charter developed by Student Minds, which will include new standards to promote student and staff mental health and wellbeing.
As part of our commitment to helping all students succeed at university, the Department for Education is working with the higher education sector to review the support needed for students in the transition into university, particularly those with or at risk of mental health issues. The Education Transitions Network will work to tackle the challenges students face when starting university.
Through the Secretary of State’s guidance to the Office for Students he has asked the OfS to continue its work supporting student experience, with a focus on wellbeing and mental health.