The 5th March marks University Mental Health Day, when the government announced student groups ‘most at risk of poor mental health’ to receive a funding boost.
Who is the funding aimed at?
Research suggests that students who are more ‘at risk’ include black or ethnic minority students, LGBT+ students, students with a disability or those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
According to the Institute for Public Policy Research, mental illness in adults develops in their student years:
“Around three-quarters of adults with a mental illness first experience symptoms before the age of 25.”
In recent years, student suicide has been on the rise; between 2007 and 2015 showed an increase of 79%.
As a result, the extra funding from the government goes someway to ensuring certain students get the help they need.
The money, provided by the Department for Health and Social Care, will go to the university’s regulator the Office for Students.
They are inviting bidders to submit proposals that will target and help students who might be at greater risk of mental ill health.
Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:
“Going to university can be a really challenging time, especially if you face added pressures or if you are balancing studies alongside other commitments like carers and mature students.”
“It is vital no student is put at risk by not getting the help they need.”
“Universities must step up to this challenge, and this funding will help them and the sector by looking at ways support can be better targeted and improved.”
Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS, said:
“All students deserve the opportunity to thrive at university and college, but for too many mental ill-health remains a significant barrier.”
“We know that there are many factors which can impact the wellbeing of students and situations where students may be or feel more vulnerable.”
“Through this funding we want to support innovative and strategic solutions that can help ensure that all students, regardless of their background or how they study, get the support they need.”