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 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 unprecedentedly 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.”
It comes after the university celebrated another swathe of outstanding results in the latest university guide. The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 ranks Marjon as 3rd for social inclusion, 4th for teaching quality and 8th for student experience, out of 130 UK universities.
The guide is a comprehensive overview of higher education in the UK and provides a breakdown of rankings each year.
Marjon was also ranked 5th in the UK for its response to the pandemic, a new score this year based on how student feedback changed between 2020 and 2021.
The ranking of 4th in the UK for teaching quality reflects outstanding results from other reports, such as the National Student Survey (NSS) 2021 published in July, where Marjon was ranked first in the South West for teaching excellence.
You can stay up to date on the top news and events near you with our FREE newsletters – enter your email address at the top of the page or go here.