Exciting News: Student Minds receives Office for Students funding to accelerate the University Mental Health Charter!

At Student Minds, we are thrilled to share the fantastic news that we have secured funding from the Office for Students. This will allow us to enhance and expand further the impactful work we do through the University Mental Health Charter.

Thank you to the Office for Students 

Office for Students’ generous 15-month funding of £400k is strategically aimed at propelling the growth of our Charter Membership. Currently, with 96 university members on board, and an influx of new additions expected in 2024/25, this support will be instrumental in meeting the rising demand. We look forward to supporting the Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, Robert Halfon’s vision of having every English university join the Charter Programme.

Our  University Mental Health Charter Framework, built on evidence-informed principles, is a cornerstone for universities aiming to adopt a comprehensive, whole-university approach to mental health and wellbeing. A whole-university approach is a framework that encompasses all aspects of university life to promote and support student and staff mental health. This must include adequately resourced, effective and accessible mental health services and proactive interventions to support good mental health and wellbeing. In our Charter Framework this is split into four important domains: Learn, Support, Work and Live. 

John Blake, Director for Fair Access and Participation, Office for Students shared “We know that many universities and colleges have already made good progress in developing their support services, but there is more we can do to ensure that students from all backgrounds arrive and thrive in higher education. We are delighted to announce further funding for Student Minds to continue the important and impactful work they do through the University Mental Health Charter. We encourage universities and colleges to consider the principles of the Charter framework and explore how these could apply to their own context and improve the support they are offering students.”

Join the University Mental Health Charter Programme

We extend a warm invitation to universities to join us in becoming a part of this transformative Programme, embarking on a journey of continuous improvement. By uniting institutions, we can collaboratively fulfil the Principles of Good Practice outlined in our framework. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates when applications to join the Charter Programme go live. 

As part of this journey, Charter Programme Members will have the opportunity to apply for the University Mental Health Charter Award when they are ready. This prestigious recognition through the Award not only celebrates excellent practice but also contributes to ongoing improvement initiatives.

Robert Halfon, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education shared “Supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing is essential to ensuring that they reach their full potential while at university. We set a target for all universities to join the University Mental Health Charter by this September to improve their approach to mental health. Since then, there has been a 50% increase in membership, bringing us two thirds of the way there. As membership grows beyond the 96 universities already signed up, this extra £400,000 will enable Student Minds to expand delivery of the programme. I encourage all universities who have not yet signed up to do so, to help ensure that all students can thrive at university knowing that there is a safety net in place, should they need it.”

Together we can shape a future in which everyone in higher education can thrive.

Student Minds is proud to be creating a positive and supportive environment for  mental health and wellbeing within our university communities. We encourage universities to work with their staff and students to promote good mental health and through the Award we recognise universities that demonstrate excellent or good practice. Thanks to the Office for Students funding and ongoing support and previous support for the Charter together we can shape a future in which everyone in higher education can thrive. 

To find out more about the Charter explore our website.

Yeme Onoabhagbe​, CEO of Student Minds shared “At Student Minds, we are very grateful for the Office for Students’ (OfS) funding for the University Mental Health Charter. This financial support from OfS will enable us to accelerate our University Mental Health Charter to ensure we can support more universities to shape a future in which everyone in higher education can thrive. We look forward to expanding our current network of 96 universities on the Charter Programme, working with many more universities, staff and students to ensure a whole-university approach to mental health and wellbeing.”

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Universities Achieve University Mental Health Charter Award 

At Student Minds, we are delighted to celebrate the third wave of institutions that put themselves forward for the University Mental Health Charter Award Assessments. Pursuing the Award is a statement of a universities commitment to improvement and development of better practice in university mental health. 

We are pleased to announce the following Universities have achieved an Award at the 2024 Winter Award