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Mind's work with universities

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.

Our evaluation findings: Final evaluation report

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.

View the executive summary

View the full evaluation report

Our evaluation findings: Interim evaluation report

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.

View our full interim evaluation report

The Mental Health at Work Commitment

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.

Full Guidance

Summary for Senior Leaders

Standard One: Prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activity

Standard Two: Proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes

Standard Three: Promote an open culture around mental health

Standard Four: Increase organisational confidence and capability

Standard Five: Provide mental health tools and support

Standard Six: Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting

Mental Health at Work Action Plan Template

Support available for all students

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.

Watch our animated videos.

Influence our work with young people

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.

Join the Youth Voice Network

Other ways to get involved

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