There is “no negotiation” on prioritising student mental health, the universities minister has told vice chancellors across England. ITV reports
In a letter to university heads, Sam Gyimah has called for greater leadership from the top to help make the issue a key focus.
Writing to them as Freshers’ Week gets under way, the minister said he was asking for their support in one of the “immediate challenges” faced by the country and sector.
“With the new academic year upon us, I’m sure you would agree that good mental health and wellbeing underpins successful participation and attainment.”
“To make this happen, leadership from the top is essential.”
Thanking the institution heads for their role in helping educate the next generation, Mr Gyimah also said a system-wide approach to addressing student mental health and wellbeing was “critical”.
He said that while the University Mental Health Charter will go live in the next academic year (2019/20), “we should be acting now – as institutions and as a society”.
Professor Steve West, chairman of Universities UK’s mental health in higher education advisory group, said:
“With 50% of school leavers now entering higher education, our mentally healthy universities will play a leading role in supporting a generation of young adults to thrive and succeed.
“We welcome the minister’s focus on this issue and his support for the sector to achieve this transformation.”
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