This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Universities challenged to ‘dramatically improve’ support for students with mental health issues

Written by: | Published:

Universities Minister Sam Gymiah on mental health Universities Minister Sam Gymiah has urged Vice Chancellors to improve pastoral care for students with mental health issues

The Government has urged Universities to improve their services for students with mental health issues. It has pledged to award a certificate of excellence to institutions which meet new standards of mental health care, and wants universities to offer an opt-in service for vice-chancellors to contact families if students find themselves in a mental health crisis.

‘We want to make sure that every young person at university is better supported in the future, as far as their mental health and wellbeing is concerned,’ said Universities Minister Sam Gymiah.

Student mental health has become an increasing matter of concern over recent years, with the Office for National Statistics estimating that 95 students in England and Wales committed suicide in 2016-17. Universities UK report 94% of institutions experiencing a sharp rise in demand for support services, and raised the danger that some students ‘slip through the gaps’ because the lack of co-ordination between universities and the NHS.

Mr Gymiah proposes drawing up a charter, with input from stakeholders such as Student Minds, the Office for Students, Universities UK and the National Union of Students, which institutions can sign up to. Those who demonstrate best practice will be awarded a certificate of excellence.

‘Some traditional vice-chancellors see the prime purpose of their training of the mind. But the pastoral care for students has to be there as well for a university to fulfill its full purpose,’ said Mr Gymiah.

The news comes just as Sir Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England, has announced that a ‘major ramp-up’ of children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) is needed, in the wake of the Government’s promise to increase NHS funding.

Sir Simon claimed that a forthcoming survey would show a big increase un young people experiencing mental health issues, which he attributed partially to internet use. He described CAMHS as ‘one of the big things’ that had to come out of the long-term NHS plan.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.