Home / Mentally Healthy Universities

Mentally Healthy Universities

Working with universities

We’re really excited to be partnered with Goldman Sachs Gives on our pilot programme Mentally Healthy Universities. We are working with ten local Mind and university partnerships between now and August 2021 to improve both staff and student wellbeing. The programme aligns with the whole-university approach set out in UUK’s StepChange framework and the University Mental Health Charter being developed by Student Minds.

We are testing a range of interventions within each university and will share learning and guidance with the wider sector. Students have the opportunity to have sessions on mental health awareness, managing their mental health, and transitioning into the workplace, while staff will be supported to set up a network of mental health champions and provide peer support to their colleagues. We will also be working with each university as employers to help them meet the Thriving at Work standards.

Our goals

Our programme has five goals:

Goal 1: Ensure students are equipped to manage their mental health and thrive at university.

Mental health orientation sessions will be designed for specifically for 1st year students, equipping them with basic mental health literacy and techniques to manage their mental health and the potential impact of their university experience.

Goal 2: Ensure students have the knowledge and tools to build their resilience.

Building on Mind’s existing experience of delivering resilience interventions, we will tailor content to ensure it meets the needs of students. 1st and final year students will receive this 4-week course, which involves both face to face sessions and online content, to equip them with knowledge and skills to build their resilience.

Goal 3: Ensure students are prepared to manage their mental health in future employment.

We will develop and deliver work-readiness workshops to support students in their transition from campus to workplace.  This will ensure that students have an increased understanding of workplace mental health, why it matters, and potential workplace triggers to poor wellbeing.

Goal 4: Reduce stigma and improve peer support for university staff.

We will develop a network of 240 higher education staff champions with lived experience of mental health problems. Within each, and across the trailblazer cohort of universities, champions will be supported to set up and lead effective peer support networks, as well as delivering anti-stigma and awareness raising activity at key points in the mental health calendar.

Goal 5: Make positive changes to the way universities think and act about mental health.

‘Thriving at Work’ was an independent review of mental health and employers commissioned by the government and led by Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, Mind’s Chief Executive. The report sets out what employers can do to better support all employees and last year Mind produced guidance for employers about how to meet these standards. Through our pilot programme Mind will support participating universities to ensure they are meeting these standards. Building on their insights and learning from the pilot, we will develop practical guidance about implementing these standards for the wider sector.

Our current partners

Below are the local Mind and university partnerships taking part in our pilot:

Bath Mind – University of Bath

Brent, Wandsworth & Westminster Mind – London School of Economics

Bristol Mind – University of Bristol

Bromley, Lewisham & Greenwich Mind – University of Greenwich

Cambridge, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind – University of Cambridge

Middlesbrough & Stockton Mind – Teesside University

Lancashire Mind – University of Central Lancashire

Leeds Mind – Leeds Beckett University

Oxfordshire Mind – Oxford Brookes University

Sheffield Mind – University of Sheffield

Get involved – opportunities for university staff and students

It’s really important to us that everything we create is accurate, unbiased, reflects real life and the experiences of university staff and students. Over the next two years we will have a variety of opportunities (paid and voluntary) to get involved in designing, developing and reviewing our programme content and to share your experiences.

Please note that unfortunately we do not have the capacity to accommodate volunteers or interns. We also do not offer university placements or work experience. 

Our current opportunities include:

  • Sharing your story. This is an opportunity to share your story of lived experience so we can have real stories to share as part of the programme. These will be anonymised when used in our content if you wish.

We hope to engage as diverse a range of people as possible and particularly welcome people from LGBTQIA+ and BAME communities and those who identify with having a disability to tell their story.

If you are employed by a university or are a university student and would like to know what other current opportunities are available please email universities@mind.org.uk.

Oxfordshire Mind was founded in 1967. We are an Oxfordshire based Charity and part of the network of Mind associations working for better mental health across England and Wales.

Our aim is to promote good mental health through the provision of high quality services with service user participation, lobbying and campaigning for positive change. Oxfordshire Mind’s services are quality assured through the Quality Management in Mind standards developed by National Mind.

Oxfordshire Mind, your local mental health charity