Plymouth Marjon University has joined a new programme committed to improving support for staff and student mental health in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Student Minds University Mental Health Charter Programme, which launches this month, is designed to support universities to challenge and improve their approach to both staff and student mental wellbeing. 32 universities have joined the Programme.
Marjon introduced their new mental health and wellbeing strategy in March, based on work from Student Minds. The strategy focuses on how mental health and wellbeing can be improved for those living on campus, through learning, through support for specific mental health needs, and for those who work for the university.
Student Minds is a leading student mental health charity. They work to train students and staff in universities across the UK to deliver student-led improvements, campaigns and workshops.
Student Minds have developed the University Mental Health Charter Award, which is a voluntary accreditation scheme. Those who demonstrate excellent approaches to student and staff mental health will be recognised with an award.
Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, said “The past year and a half has been an unprecedently difficult time for students and staff, and I am personally committed to ensuring they receive the consistent, effective mental health support they deserve. Therefore, I strongly support the University Mental Health Charter, which aims to drive up standards in promoting student and staff mental health and wellbeing on campuses across the country.
“I thank all those providers who have already signed up to the Charter Programme. I hope all universities will work towards the principles of good practice set out in the Charter, as part of their whole university approach to mental health.”
Marjon’s strategy covers areas including tackling loneliness, promoting positive mental health, removing barriers to support and stigma, and helping students to feel like they belong and can thrive in their studies.
Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student Success, Katy Willis, said: “We are so pleased that the University Mental Health Charter Award has been launched. Joining the scheme will really help us to further develop the positive environment we offer within the Marjon community, learning from other universities and challenging ourselves to be the best we can be for all students and staff.”
Head of Student Wellbeing and Support, Ellie Warnes, said: “At our university, mental health is everybody’s responsibility. With this strategy I believe we can build an environment where everyone can thrive and where all aspects of wellbeing are reflected in every facet of the Plymouth Marjon University experience.”