Mental Health & DSA


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Mental health talk from Andi Sanderson at Assess2012

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  • OCD Sciz Bi-Polar Depress
  • Comon cause under 35 years NSF for MH Dept of health 2005 Peak onsiet –IRISS project 1995 56% - Samaritans 1990
  • How long is long term likely to last for 12 months or more A condition that is likely to reocuur is covered No requirement for MH condition to be clinically identified to be considered a disability within the scope of the act There is no legal definition of what constitutes a mental health difficulty Nb only a Tribunal can decide if a persons disability falls within the scope of the act - & what is a reasonable response
  • Stickers ...short hand
  • Mental Health & DSA

    1. 1. Supporting Students with MentalHealth Difficulties in HE
    2. 2. Dr Andi SandersonHead of External Relations, Consultancy & Training– iansyst Ltd
    3. 3. Supporting StudentsContext of mental health difficulties in HEReasonable Adjustments appropriaterecommendations for Needs AssessmentsSpecific adjustments for examinations
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    5. 5. time –
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    10. 10. Context Mental Health Difficulties in HE
    11. 11. Range of MH difficulties1 in 4 Britains have a MH difficultyAmongst under 24 years – 4 out of top 10difficulties are MHAmongst ‘disadvantaged groups’ some MHconditions are greater than 1 in 4MH difficulties are most acute between 16– 25 years
    12. 12. Context of MH in HEPeak age for onset of Schizophrenia is 18 – 30 years Bipolar affective disorder is 16 – 25 yearsSuicide is most common cause of death for menunder 35 years56% of young men attempting suicide haveemployment or study problems
    13. 13. Context of MH in HEHE groups will contain a minimum of 1 in 4students with a MH difficultyHE stats ...reflect only 0.3% students haveMH difficultiesDisclosure issues is considered the reasonof low reported numbers
    14. 14. Context of MH difficultiesAll HEI’s are required to make adjustments Equality Act 2010‘To anticipate need’ Equality Duty‘To promote equality of opportunity between groups that have ‘protected characteristics’ and other persons’
    15. 15. Context of MH in HEDDA definitionDisability is a physical or mental impairmentwhich has a substantial and long term effecton a person’s ability to carry out normal dayto day activities….
    16. 16. Context of MH in HEUnderpinning principle is for all to take note of disabilities – e v e n i f m e a n s t r e a t in g in d iv id u a ls m o r e f a v o u r a b ly
    17. 17. Reasonable Adjustments & NeedsAssessments
    18. 18. RA & NA Huge range of conditions in HE, e.g. Depression Bipolar affective disorder OCD Self harm SchizophreniaSymptoms can range from mild to severe
    19. 19. RA & NA’sNeed to considerStudy needs (research, composition, note-taking,time management, communication)Mobility - is travel a barrier/need for buddy –or taxiMotivation, distraction, concentration andconfidence
    20. 20. RA & NA’sHuman supportp MH/LS workers p Counselling p Buddy/mentor p Library p Support groups (isolation)
    21. 21. RA & NA’sUniversity Resident on campus (isolation) Formalised system of check ‘high risk’ Assessment process Examination process Marking concessions ? Policy on extensions Listening group – to needs of students Room to chill out/feel safe
    22. 22. RA & NA’sAT has its role Texthelp – can help with keeping on task Mind Genius – planning Digital recorders – memory aid Visual Thesaurus – word retrieval
    23. 23. Specific Adjustments forExaminations
    24. 24. MH & ExaminationsCompetency issuesProfessional examswhere arrangements are so numerous someconsider the integrity of the exam iscompromised
    25. 25. MH & ExaminationsConsideration of assessment - general– portfolio open book (memory vs knowledge) Permitting agreed prompt sheet Informing students of areas/questions to be examined (reducing anxiety) Spacing exams throughout the yearEnsuring there are a range of small rooms
    26. 26. MH & ExaminationsSpecific to the individual – location Choosing where to sit e.g. At the back, or near the door/window Locating exam near a toilet (anxiety) Using a familiar room (possibly home) Having a known invigilator Small room or individual room
    27. 27. MH & ExaminationsSpecific to individual – accessing exam Provided an amanuensis Permitted use of a computer Provided with a reader (or TextHelp) Choosing time of day (usually PM/medication) Frequent breaks – even dividing exam in half (concentration) Permitted to play background music (Mozart)
    28. 28. MH & ExaminationsSpecific to individual Permitted to have food/drink Permitted to have access to medication Permitted to leave room for break (additional time to exam) Permitted full physical movement to stretch etc (anxiety) Permitted to sit examinations near a smoking area
    29. 29. MH & ExaminationsThe issue of additional timeCan compound MH issue i.e. Increaseanxiety
    30. 30. MH & ExaminationsMH difficulties are variable and need tomonitored and adjustments evaluatedIf students consistently underperform inexaminations c/f coursework – thenappropriate form of assessment needs to beconsideredWhere condition affects performance –retake penalties should not be enforced(Equality Act/SENDA/Code of Practice)
    31. 31. MH & ExaminationsSome specialist MH workers advocate no, orlittle adjustments as this can impact on selfesteem and long term health.GCSE & A Level - endorsements
    32. 32. MH & ExaminationsAlternative to Examinations Some MH specialist advocate coursework/presentations etc These bring different stresses and anxiety Not clear cut NB alternative assessment should not be compulsory
    33. 33. MH & ExaminationsCode of practice for Trade and QualificationBoardsDoes the examination assess what itpurports to assess?Is the means of assessment the cause offailure – rather than lack of knowledge orability?
    34. 34. Final Comment
    35. 35. We all have varying mental health1 in 4 will experience poor MHWith the right support – ALL students cansucceed
    36. 36. Positive mental health is‘ the emotional resilience that enables us to enjoy life and survive pain, disappointment and sadness’At times we all need a little extra support