This seminar examined key trends and challenges in mental health treatment at universities and priorities for improving support for students.
It followed the release of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper, and took place as Universities UK rolled out its whole-university approach to mental health support, which sought to ensure that HEIs treat mental health as a strategic priority across their activities and develop a robust evidence base.
Sessions focused on the details of the Universities UK framework, the challenges of implementation associated with a diverse market of providers, and its compatibility with institutions already possessing established mental health strategies.
Further discussion looked at addressing stigma and increasing sensitivity in reporting of mental health issues, as well as strategies to establish a clear duty of care for students - and how HEIs can address the rise in demand for mental health services on campus.
Delegates also considered how best to utilise data and evidence in mental health treatment, approaches to information-sharing in spreading best practice, embedding wellbeing in curricula and priorities for clearly delineating stress-based and clinical conditions in order to provide effective treatment.
Attendees included senior government officials involved in this area of public policy, together with university health and wellbeing centres, counsellors, local authority public health advisors, student union welfare officers and mental health charities.