University Mental health Charter

Working together to create positive change and a mentally healthy university where all members of our community can maintain good mental health and thrive. 

The exterior of the Rose Bowl seen through a tree
Abstract art in front of James Graham Building on Headingley Campus
  1. What is the University Mental Health Charter?

    "The University Mental Health Charter was created by thousands of staff and students to shape a future in which everyone in higher education can thrive" (University Mental Health Charter).

    The Charter is a voluntary programme, that adopts a whole–university approach to mental health, to support universities to become places that promote the mental health and wellbeing of all members of the university community.

    The principles of good practice, outlined in the Charter, have been arrived at through the synthesis of evidence in the literature and evidence gathered through a research and consultation process, which involved 181 universities and organisations. The Charter document was peer reviewed by a range of academic, clinical and research experts. 

  2. Why is this important for our community?

    Developed in response to the growing concern about the mental health of university communities, The Charter is the first evidence-based guidance that considers both student and colleague wellbeing, in the context of the environment that they study and work in.

    Given the severe negative consequences that poor mental health can have for learning, achievement, health and life, the wellbeing of university communities is clearly an important issue that requires attention, resource, expertise and action.

  3. Our commitment and benefits for you

    Colleagues from the university and Students’ Union, with the support of a colleague and a student advisory group, are working to understand how our university is performing against the principles of good practice, outlined in the Charter.

    These principles of good practice span across 18 themes which cover all aspects of the university. From the physical and virtual environment to our culture, from our support services to our curriculum design.

    We are using this information to create and put in place an improvement plan.

    Working and studying in a mentally healthy community supports us all to attain good wellbeing, feel happier, to have clarity of purpose and to achieve. To realise this, we need to make changes in our environment and in ourselves.

  4. How do I get involved?

    To achieve a university-wide change that is meaningful to the whole community, we need the support of everyone. Over the coming months we will be asking you to take part in opportunities for you to tell us about your experiences and your ideas.

To create cultural change that can realise the vision of becoming a mentally healthy university requires every one of us to play our part.