On 22 September 2016 HEPI (Higher Education Policy Institute) published a report called ‘The invisible problem? Improving students’ mental health’. The report highlights the growing demand for mental health services within universities, and discusses underfunding of counselling services both within universities and within the NHS. You can access the HEPI report here: Many universities need to triple their spending on mental health support: urgent call for action in new HEPI paper.
Here is AMOSSHE’s response to the report:
AMOSSHE is pleased that this report raises the profile of the issues that our members have been dealing with for a number of years. Recent member feedback carried out by AMOSSHE showed that 80% of contributors believed there was a noticeable increase in complex mental health crises amongst their student population from 2014 to 2015. It is very pleasing to see that the report recognises the challenges that students face in accessing mental health services due to the lack of continuity of care between home and university. It is important to recognise that most universities in the UK provide a range of wellbeing and mental health services that may work alongside, be integrated with, or be separate from counselling services. A ratio of students to counsellors is not necessarily a reliable way to determine the level of staffing support that is provided to students within our diverse universities. Funding is a crucial element for supporting students with mental health needs, and AMOSSHE supports the notion that universities should continue to increase funding in mental health and counselling services where appropriate, alongside other supportive wellbeing services.
AMOSSHE supports over 160 higher education providers across the country with over 600 members. Over 95% of our members have reported through our surveys that they have mental health services under their remit. Our members are primarily directors of student support services and heads of support areas such as mental health, counselling and wellbeing services. For further information please contact the AMOSSHE National Office.
You can find details of AMOSSHE's member survey about student mental health here: AMOSSHE members feed back about student mental health and suicide.