In the first partnership of its kind, the Mentally Healthy Universities programme will be delivered by Mind and will reach over 6,000 students and staff at 10 Universities in its first two years. The programme will provide support and specialist training to equip these communities with the knowledge, skills and confidence to support their own mental health and that of others.
There is a growing recognition of the mental health challenges faced by the UK’s higher education sector. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency the number of students who disclosed a mental health condition almost doubled between 2012 and 2015 to nearly 45,000. However, national figures suggest that mental health difficulties within higher education are currently underreported as just 1 in 125 students (0.8%) and around 1 in 500 staff (0.2%) have disclosed a mental health condition to their university.
Goldman Sachs is a major recruiter of university graduates and its backing for this programme is part of broader efforts to improve mental health support in the workplace and wider communities. With a focus on students in their first and final years of study, the programme will address transitional moments in students’ lives that can bring added challenges and pressures.
The programme is being funded by a significant group of Goldman Sachs partners in Europe, through the Goldman Sachs Gives programme, who have committed £1.5 million in initial funding with an intention to scale over time.
“The transition through higher education and into the workforce is often a challenging and pressurised time in young people’s lives. We believe employers have an important role to play in changing attitudes towards mental health through providing support, resources and open conversation around an often stigmatized subject. We look forward to supporting Mind and these universities in launching this critical programme.”
“We are really excited to be working with Goldman Sachs to better support thousands of university students and staff across England and Wales. We know that both students and staff face many pressures unique to the university environment. This timely opportunity allows us to deliver a programme that responds to the needs of university communities, building on good practice within the sector, to ensure everyone with a mental health problem receives support and respect.”
The ten participating universities are:
University of Bath, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), University of Greenwich, Leeds Beckett University, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Oxford Brookes University, University of Sheffield and Teesside University
Public Mental Health Workplace