Today, Mind and Goldman Sachs have announced a new £1.5 million partnership to provide mental health support in universities
Over recent years, there has been 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.
Despite this, national figures suggest that mental health difficulties within higher education are still underreported. Currently, just one in 125 students (0.8%) and around one in 500 staff (0.2%) have disclosed a mental health condition to their university.
So, there is still work to be done to improve the support available to staff and students in higher education and to break the stigma that prevents others from seeking support.
In a bid to tackle this, mental health charity Mind has launched the Mentally Healthy Universities programme. The programme is being funded by a significant group of Goldman Sachs partners in Europe, through the Goldman Sachs Gives programme, who have pledged £1.5 million in initial funding over two years. The scheme is hoped to reach over 6,000 students and staff at 10 universities, with an intention to scale over time.
📢 Mental health charity @MindCharity is piloting a new programme to help build mentally healthy universities.— Universities UK (@UniversitiesUK) July 5, 2019
Get involved! Mind is seeking joint applications for funding from partnerships made up of a university & a local Mind (or local Minds). 👉 https://t.co/08WmgUBSHm
The 10 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
- Teesside University
The universities were selected out of 30 that had applied for funding. A committee of Mind and Goldman Sachs staff selected the winning institutions, based on factors including need, diversity, and delivery track record.
The programme, which aligns with the whole-university approach set out in Universities UK's StepChange framework, will provide support and specialist training to equip students to take care of their mental health throughout university, as well as looking forwards as they enter into the workplace. In addition, there will be a focus on improving peer support for university staff, and creating positive systemic changes to influence the way universities think and act about mental health.
Goldman Sachs, a major recruiter of university graduates, is backing this programme as 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.
Richard Gnodde, CEO of Goldman Sachs International, said: “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.”
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “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.”
In addition to initiatives such as the Mentally Healthy Universities programme, further support for students and staff in higher education is available. For more information, read ‘What Help is Available for Students Experiencing Mental Health Difficulties?’
Or, if you are worried about your mental health, Counselling Directory can help you find a counsellor near you. Search for therapists in your area by entering your location in the box below.