At GCU Students’ Association and Glasgow Caledonian University we recognise it’s important to support you throughout your studies and enable you to have an outstanding student experience at GCU. We know that students are disproportionally impacted by ill-mental health (1), and in 2015, the National Union of Students reported that 78% of Students experienced mental health concerns within the previous year (2).
This research builds upon previous findings by NUS in which they reported in 2013 that 80% of students experienced stress, 55% reported feeling anxiety, and 49% reported feeling depressed (1). Continuing this worrying trend, reports have shown that students on average experience mental ill health at least once a week (4).
When seeking support for poor mental health, 21% of students disclose to their university or students’ union to seek mental health support (3), and both your university and students’ association document in our values, mission, and vision a common theme of supporting students to enable an outstanding student experience at GCU.
As such, we’ve come together to work in partnership to develop a Student Mental Health Agreement, where both institutions can come together to provide a more holistic support provision at GCU.
This document is part of the Student Mental Health Agreement project (co-ordinated by Think Positive and NUS nationally, which aims to bring students’ associations and universities together to help support student mental health). The Student Mental Health Agreement for 2017-18 can be found here. And has even been presented at National Conferences!
The plan is reviewed and developed, and signed by the executive lead in both the University and the Students’ Association for student wellbeing each academic year, and all the work we’ve completed so far can be found in our submission document here!
Some key outcomes from the creation of the agreement, is the Student Support Booklet which will be available soon, the re-introduction of the Scottish Mental Health First Aid Award, and free mindfulness sessions for students!
If you have any questions, or want to get involved, get in touch with Rachel Simpson, Student President, at President@GCUStudents.co.uk!
(1) Institute for Public Policy Research; Not By Degrees- Improving Student Mental Health in the UK’s Universities
(2) NUS-USI; Student Wellbeing Research Report
(3) NUS; Mental Distress Survey Overview
(4) NUS Disabled Students; Mental Health and Suicide Prevention: an in-depth guide for Students’ Unions and student activists