Friday 3 February 2012      Charter For University Mental Health & WellbeingThis document proposes five targets that, coll...
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UMHAW Charter


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This document sets out five realistic changes that universities and decision makers within higher education could take to improve the mental health and wellbeing of university staff and students.

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UMHAW Charter

  1. 1. Friday 3 February 2012 Charter For University Mental Health & WellbeingThis document proposes five targets that, collectively, can create better conditionsfor university staff and students. It calls for higher education institutions and supportorganisations to back these targets through public acknowledgement and adeclaration of intent.1. All universities to have a mental health & wellbeing policyA regularly reviewed, and publicly available, document that outlines how theuniversity intends to support the mental health & wellbeing of it’s members, and thatprovides a framework and strategy for implementation. (As recommended by theRoyal College of Psychatrists, 2011)2. All universities to offer mental health & wellbeing training forstudents/staffA program that introduces students and staff to the topic of mental health andwellbeing, prevailing attitudes, how to support one’s own wellbeing, how to identifyproblems in others, and the available services. Staff should also be taught to factorstudent mental health into the design of curriculums, departmental policies, andteaching methods. (As recommended by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2011)3. All universities to adopt a ‘whole-university’ approach to mental health &wellbeingA whole-university approach - as thoroughly outlined in the Healthy Universitiesguidance papers - recognises the broad and holistic conditions that determine themental health & wellbeing of university staff & students. It strives, therefore, tointegrate and bring into alignment relevant agencies and activities in accordancewith the World Health Organisation’s ‘Healthy Settings’ approach. (As recommendedby the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2011)4. All universities to have a mental heath & wellbeing committeeA group that regularly meets to discuss relevant policy, services & promotionconcerning mental health & wellbeing; and which includes representation from thestudent community, and staff across the institution, in keeping with a whole-university approach.5. A national committee for university mental health and wellbeingFor all universities to have access to guidance and advocacy through a nationalcommittee that contains representation from university staff, student unions, thestudent community, and relevant public and third sector bodies; meeting regularly,providing a forum for debate, acting in the interests of staff and students, andproviding universities with recommendations and guidance.ReferencesRoyal College of Psychiatrists, (2011).Mental Health Of Students in Higher Education.[online] Universities Project. Leading And Developing The Whole System UniversitiesApproach.[online] Health Organisation.Healthy Settings. [online]