The Mentally Healthy Universities Programme was a two-year pilot, supported by Goldman Sachs Gives, which ran from September 2019 to August 2021 in nine universities across England. The nine universities were all partnered with local Minds who delivered the programme. It tested a whole-university approach with preventative interventions. As part of the programme, students had the opportunity to take part in sessions on wellbeing essentials, managing their mental health at university and transitioning into the workplace. Staff could take part in schemes such as Mental Health Champions and Peer Supporters. It also supported the nine universities to meet the Mental Health at Work Commitment.
We will be taking forward the learning and resources created in the programme as part of our strategic priority to work with young people. This will involve considering not just the university setting but also those in employment and in-community settings. Mind will not continue the Mentally Healthy Universities Programme from September 2021 but instead will be working with young people directly to explore the mental health needs for this age group.
Please see below for more information on the programme and our resources for universities and students.
Students and staff members who took part in our pilot programme reported positive improvements in their knowledge, awareness and confidence across a range of mental health outcomes. The evaluation report sets out more information on the programme, our findings and subsequent recommendations for Mind, the higher education sector and government.
The findings from the first year of the programme were very positive. Students told us they had a better understanding of mental health, that they were more confident in looking after their mental health, and that they were more aware of mental health in the workplace. Meanwhile, university staff rated our courses highly and 9/10 would recommend them to a colleague.
The Mental Health at Work Commitment is a framework that was launched in 2019 and is based on the Thriving at Work standards, pulling from the pledges and standards that are already out there, using up-to-date research from UK employers and mental health experts.
‘Thriving at Work’ was an independent review of mental health and employers commissioned by the UK government and led by Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, Mind’s Chief Executive.
Through the Mentally Healthy Universities Programme Mind supported our partner universities to meet the Mental Health at Work Commitment. Building on their insights and learning from the pilot, we have developed practical guidance about implementing these standards for the wider sector.
Below you can find the full guidance, as well as a short summary for senior leaders. You can also find a guide for each standard individually.
Take a look at our student mental health hub, which has information on coping with student life, mental health support for specific groups, being a student during coronavirus and more.
We have also created animated videos which provide tips and techniques to improve your wellbeing. They focus on the following topics:
Five Ways to Look After Your Wellbeing
Tips for Managing Stress
Tips to Help with Loneliness
Ways to Improve your Self-Esteem
Tips for Better Sleep.
If you are aged 16-24 and are interested in having the chance to influence the work we do next with young people then please sign up to be part of our Youth Voice Network. Members will get updated on all of our opportunities to get involved with Mind’s work.