A new £1.5m programme developed by Goldman Sachs and the charity Mind will provide mental health support to students and staff in 10 universities across the UK.
The Mentally Healthy Universities programme will be delivered by Mind and will reach over 6,000 students and staff in its first two years.
It will provide support and specialist training to equip people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to support their own mental health and that of others.
According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the number of students who disclosed a mental health condition almost doubled between 2012 and 2015 to nearly 45,000. However, national figures suggest mental health difficulties within higher education are currently underreported as just one in 125 students (0.8%) and around one in 500 staff (0.2%) have disclosed a mental health condition to their university.
Goldman Sachs’ backing for the programme is part of broader efforts to improve mental health support in the workplace and wider communities.
Goldman Sachs partners in Europe have committed £1.5m in initial funding with an intention to scale over time.
Richard Gnodde, CEO of Goldman Sachs International, said the transition through higher education and into the workforce is often a challenging and pressurised time in young people’s lives.
“We believe employers have an important role to play in changing attitudes towards mental health through providing support, resources and open conversation around an often stigmatised subject,” he stated.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said both students and staff face many pressures unique to the university environment.
“This timely opportunity allows us to deliver a programme that responds to the needs of university communities, building on good practice within the sector, to ensure everyone with a mental health problem receives support and respect,” he added.
The 10 participating universities are: University of Bath, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), University of Greenwich, Leeds Beckett University, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Oxford Brookes University, University of Sheffield and Teesside University.