To say that society and culture has changed out of all recognition would be something of an understatement. Going back 20 years, the Millenium Bug was causing huge concern about what would happen once the clock ticked to one minute past midnight. A little over ten years ago, smartphones were beginning to dominate the market, with Apple taking an early lead with their release of the iPhone. But more importantly, opening up, and actively discussing mental health just was not the done thing.
In ten short years, the discussion around mental health has opened right up, in no small thanks to the sterling work of charities such as Mind, and prominent figures discussing their own issues.
Within Higher Education, mental health is one of the top focuses, with the Government sponsoring the charity Student Minds to launch a Student Mental Health Charter in June 2018.
In designing the charter, Student Minds are running roadshows around the country involving the circa 100 Higher Education Institutions who are part of its development. I recently attended one of these in Leeds along with around 50-60 colleagues and students from institutions around the UK, helping to shape the charter, and learning from the best practices employed by other institutions.
You have the opportunity to help shape the charter as well, with Student Minds keen to hear your views; they have a survey for students available on their website. Take part and help shape the future of mental health in higher education.
We are also developing our strategies and plans for supporting mental health and have lots of initiatives in planning that we are keen to share with you; watch this space for further updates, and how you can get involved.
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