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Charter Programme

The University Mental Health Charter Programme

The University Mental Health Charter (UMHC) Programme is for universities that want to join a community of institutions committed to embedding a whole-university approach to mental health and wellbeing. 

The UMHC Programme supports universities as they work towards the Principles of Good Practice laid out in the University Mental Health Charter Framework and create lasting cultural change to become places that promote the mental health and wellbeing of all members of the university community.  

Programme members can access:

The mental health of university students and staff has been a focus of increasing concern in the UK. The UMHC Framework and Programme adopts a non-prescriptive model that encourages universities to consider how the Principles of Good Practice apply in their specific context. 

The Principles of Good Practice span 18 themes which are mapped against the 4 domains and enabling themes of Stepchange: mentally healthy universities. These serve as a reference point for universities to consider their activities against and inform ongoing enquiry and debate, driving continuous improvement.

Programme Members are provided with the opportunity to undertake an Award Assessment, having their work evaluated against the UMHC Framework by external peer assessors. Assessment Teams produce a report highlighting areas of work contributing to positive impacts on mental health and wellbeing, while providing recommendations to drive continuous improvement.

Benefits of a whole-university approach

A commitment to a whole-university approach to mental health and wellbeing has the potential to lead to a range of positive outcomes for your university community, including:

Join the Programme

Registration for the 24/25 UMHC Programme is open from 13 May until 05 July 2024.

View our registration page to find out more information about the 24/25 UMHC Programme and register your institution. 

What our members say

Sarah Littlejohn, Head of Campus Life, The University of Manchester​

Sarah Littlejohn, Head of Campus Life, The University of Manchester

“The Charter Programme has given an additional focus and impetus to our existing institutional priority of student and staff mental health and wellbeing. It has also provided us with a real opportunity to build on our developing practice of working in partnership with students in this area, alongside the sharing of good practice across the sector.”

Ravteg Singh Dhesi, Director of Student Welfare, Aston University​

Ravteg Singh Dhesi, Director of Student Welfare, Aston University

“Being an early signatory to the University Mental Health Charter has allowed us to take a step back and focus on our strengths, but more importantly, areas for improvement and development and support us in achieving our goal of a university-wide approach to supporting student and staff mental health.”

Toby Chelms, Head of Student Support and Wellbeing, Leeds Trinity University​

Toby Chelms, Head of Student Support and Wellbeing, Leeds Trinity University

“The Charter has enabled us to invest time in reflecting on the progress we’ve made as a community over the last few years; to take pride in our work and each other whilst recognising the journey we have ahead and bringing in closer working between colleagues (inside and outside of the University) for the benefit of our Students.”

Nic Streatfield, Deputy Director of Student Support, University of East London​

Nic Streatfield, Deputy Director of Student Support, University of East London

“The process of measuring ourselves against the charter’s principles of good practice has been really useful. We have brought together more than 1200 staff and students to help us understand our current position. When you have time to pause and reflect against benchmarks, rapid improvement can take place. Whatever level of award we receive, the Charter work has already paid dividends in our journey to a whole university approach to wellbeing.”

Charter Resources

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