Universities should work with partners to ensure student mental health support

Universities should ensure they are working effectively with partners to support the mental health and wellbeing of students.

The Office for Students (OfS) has said it is treating the issue as a priority as it is important to students.

On Wednesday, OfS chief executive Nicola Dandridge will address an all-party parliamentary group on students.

She will say: “All students deserve to get the support they need to cope with times of mental ill health and distress.

“But there are times when that support does not get to where it is needed, when it is needed.

“Every time I meet with groups of students and student unions, the challenge of mental health is raised, and the members of the OfS Student Panel have also raised it as a priority.”

Ms Dandridge will tell the group mental health and wellbeing are complex issues, but universities are full of people who excel at working with complexity.

“So I believe that – with the challenge and support provided by the OfS – higher education providers can and will address these issues, so as to enable their students to flourish and unlock their potential,” she is expected to say.

During the session, Ms Dandridge will explain how the OfS is challenging registered providers to improve their support for students’ mental health.

It is also funding activities including a guide to help universities prevent student suicides, and the £6 million Challenge Competition for innovative projects to combat the rise in student mental health issues.

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