Student Mental Wellbeing and Step Change Task and Finish Group

Student mental health continues to be a major concern across the sector and this had led to the publication of a number of significant papers in recent months.  One of the most pertinent of these is the ‘UUK Step Change report’, which explores student mental health needs within UK Universities. The report proposes a framework to meet the reported ever-increasing numbers and severity of student mental ill-health cases.

The Student Health and Wellbeing Teams have done a substantial amount in the last three years to improve the quality, quantity and variety of preventative and responsive mental health initiatives for Newcastle University Students; however we recognise more must be done.  As such, the Executive Board has supported our proposal to establish a Student Mental Health “Step Change” Task and Finish Group.

The group's role will be to:

  • Create a map of current/planned, NUSU, faculty, school, subject, professional service and student-led based mental health initiatives (Newcastle and London campus), as identified by the wider University community.
  • Review feedback from students, staff and external stake holders on how they believe we are, or could be meeting the recommendations in the ‘Step Change’ Framework.
  • Report findings and recommendations to the Executive Board on how identified gaps in mental health provision can be attended to on our UK campuses and share learnings from these, to support our students in our Malaysia and Singapore campuses.

The group’s overarching aim will be to enhance mental ill-health prevention and support for all students and will inform how we support staff in their interactions with students.

To inform the work of the group, we wish to invite as many colleagues as possible to contribute thoughts to the enclosed word document and return to me by July 20th 2018. All contribution would be greatly appreciated but there is no expectation for people to complete the document in full.

Your contribution to the document will help the “Step Change” Task and Finish Group:

1. Create a map of current/planned, NUSU, school and professional service based mental health initiatives.

2. Understand how you think Newcastle University is currently meeting, exceeding or failing to meet the recommendations from the ‘Step Change’ Framework.

3. Understand who you believe should be an appropriate Task and Finish Group member.

Once feedback and group member nominations have been received, the group will be established and will meet to deliberate the initial findings from this desktop assessment.  The group will then extend the invitation to key external stakeholders with the aim of seeking preventative and responsive mental health resolutions to propose to the executive.

The progress of the group will be reported on our Project News Page for staff and to students via email updates from NUSU’s Welfare and Equality Officer.

Sally Ingram

Director of Student Health and Wellbeing

Tel: + 44 (0) 191 208 5870