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Making Us Mentally Healthier: Pioneering Programme for Better University Mental Health

Leeds Beckett University is launching a programme as part of a pilot in partnership with Leeds Mind to improve the mental health of staff and students.

James Graham Headingley Campus

Leeds Mind will engage with staff and students in the Leeds School of Arts and Carnegie School of Sport at LBU, running wellbeing workshops as part of the Mentally Healthy Universities programme. 

It’s hoped the insights gained during the programme can be replicated in universities across the UK, improving attitudes around mental health and creating a healthier culture across education. 

For students, there will be a series of workshops around mental health awareness, managing mental health, and transitioning into the workplace.

Meanwhile, staff at these schools and within Libraries and Learning Innovation will be supported to set up a network of mental health champions and provide peer support to their colleagues.

Mentally Healthy Universities is a pilot programme started by Mind, the mental health charity, in partnership with Goldman Sachs Gives. 

Priscilla Preston, Director of Student Services at Leeds Beckett University, said: “We’re pleased to be working with Leeds Mind to deliver this pioneering programme. We’re always looking for ways we can better support our staff and student community’s mental health, in line with our Student & Staff Mental Health Action Plans and commitment to providing the best university experience for everyone. 

“I hope the insights we get from delivering this programme will provide learnings that can be replicated in universities across the UK, improving attitudes around mental health and creating a mentally healthier culture across our country’s learning institutions.”

The programme aligns with the whole-university approach set out in UUK's StepChange framework and the University Mental Health Charter developed by Student Minds. It will be rolled out in ten local Mind and university partnerships, of which Leeds Mind and Leeds Beckett is one, between September 2019 and August 2021, aiming to improve both staff and student wellbeing. 

Rowan Sandle, Mentally Healthy Universities Co-ordinator at Leeds Mind, added: “At Leeds Mind, it’s part of our mission to make mental health everyone’s business, and we know that there are numerous times throughout a student’s university life – whether that’s the first time moving out of home, studying hard or transitioning from university into the workplace – when it can be particularly challenging to maintain good mental wellbeing. 

“Together with Leeds Beckett, we hope to normalise the fact that everyone has mental health just as everyone has physical health, and we all need to work sometimes to keep it in a good, healthy condition.”


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