UMHD Winter Award Panel news

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 university’s’ 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 Panel:

  • King’s College London
  • University of Southampton
  • University of the West of England Bristol 

They join current Award holders:

  • University of East London
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Hartpury University
  • University College London
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Sheffield
  • Leeds Beckett University

Congratulations to those universities who have achieved the University Mental Heath Charter Award and to the University of the West of England Bristol (UWE) as the first University to achieve the Award with Merit.

There is a lot of hard work, dedication, and time that has gone into this process from each individual university involved. The Charter Award demonstrates the genuine commitment, hard work, and investment of many staff and students to reach this milestone. 

At Student Minds, we are proud of everything these universities have achieved and the work they will continue to do to create change and improve the mental health and wellbeing of many staff and students alike.

In Autumn 2019, we published the University Mental Health Charter (UMHC) after a year of development alongside thousands of students and members of staff across the country. With a focus on a whole-university approach, the Charter sets out a number of Principles of Good Practice to help universities to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of their communities. 

Then in 2020, we launched the University Mental Health Charter Programme, a place for university members to come together, share good practice and receive guidance in applying for the Award. Institutions are able to apply for the Award Assessment process at any stage while a member of the Programme. To date the majority of universities on the Programme are still to start their Assessment Process. With over 90 Universities commiting to creating cultural change in this year’s Programme, we look forward to welcoming many more universities to the Programme in the coming 24-25 cohort. 

Applications for the Award are assessed by a team of Peer Assessors with expertise and extensive experience of working and studying in the sector. Each Assessment Team contains qualified clinicians, higher education academics, professionals, and students. The UMHC Award Assessment is a robust process of evaluation aimed at:

  • Assessing the university’s progress against the Principles of Good Practice
  • Understanding areas of strength and development to inform ongoing improvement to the university and across the sector
  • Recognising those universities that demonstrate excellent approaches to student and staff mental health 

Following the Assessment, every university is provided with a detailed Outcome Report highlighting good and excellent practice and recommending further actions each university can take to continue to improve their whole-university approach.

Gaining a Charter Award is a recognition of the journey universities have travelled so far, in developing their approach to mental health and wellbeing.

Explore the University Mental Health Charter website to see which other universities have achieved the Award

These awards are a demonstration of genuine commitment, hard work and investment on the part of these universities and the staff and students who have worked together to reach this milestone. They can be rightly proud of their achievements to date.

It is important to note that achieving an Award is a symbol of progress, it does not mean that those receiving an Award are perfect, or that every student or member of staff will have good experiences within that institution yet. Those receiving their Award today, are doing so because they have made an ongoing commitment to continual improvement and have been able to demonstrate significant and genuine progress towards a whole-university approach, in line with the Charter Framework. To maintain their Awards or to achieve a higher level award, all of these institutions will have to continue to build on this progress. There is work still to be done.

Thank you to everyone who made the Assessment Process possible. The Charter Programme is gradually ensuring we are all speaking the same shared language on mental health as a sector and building a shared vision for the future. 

Want to join the University Mental Health Charter Programme? Find out more on our website.

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