University of Wales Lampeter Newsletter

Student Rights & Whistleblowers UK

Bringing Light to Injustice and Maladministration

Student Support Site

Appendix 6

May 25th, 2008 · No Comments

Guidelines on Student Mental Health Policies and Procedures for Higher Education CVCP (Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals ) June 2000


To support higher education institutions in their strategic planning to ensure they take full account of the needs of students experiencing mental health difficulties and those who work and study alongside such students.

Key issues:

1. Awareness of relevant legal and duty of care issues.

2. Access to support and guidance services.

3. Provision of training and development opportunities.

4. Liaison between internal and external agencies.

Pressure on students which may contribute to mental health difficulties:

transition to a new area

separation from family and friends

making new friends and relationships

living in a new country

experiencing a different culture

financial and employment

combining studying with supporting a family


“Remember that mental health difficulties are not an indicator of intelligence and are experienced by many extremely able students.”

Promoting mental well-being underpins success in:



and career progression

We are challenged to help students capitalise on the positive mental health benefits of higher education.

Awareness of relevant legal and duty of care issues:

It is implied in all contracts for the provision of services that the supplier will supply the services with reasonable care and skill

ensure that claims in any documentation are accurate and precise

ensure appropriate training of support staff

implement clear support and referral procedures for students

Be aware of changing legislation re:

Disability Discrimination Act (1995)

Human Rights Act (1998)

Data Protection Act (1998)

Knowledge that case law will further clarify these rights

Access to support and guidance services

Do admission procedures ensure that applicants with specific support needs can discuss these in detail prior to admission?

Are there clear confidentiality policies?

Are there clear emergency protocols where students show signs of emerging crisis?

Are mechanisms in place to support students who suspend temporarily?

Are course assessment methods such that they do not exacerbate mental health vulnerabilities among the student population generally?

Emphasis is on:

Internal services provision of student support systems

co-ordination between support services

incorporation of student feedback in monitoring policies and services

External services providing information

Liaison with external groups

Provision of training and development opportunities which aim to raise awareness & increase understanding:

Distribution of information

Directory of support services

Training sessions and seminars

Training as mainstream and embedded in staff development programmes.

Liaison between internal and external agencies:

identify structures which encourage co-ordination between all relevant support services note student feedback as a key element for monitoring policies and services

development of partnership between HEIs and external agencies is essential

liaison with sector-wide groups, egg the Association of Managers of Student Services in Higher Education (AMOSSHE), the Association of University and College Counselling (AUCC).

Liaison with local HEIs, Further Education Colleges and schools to exchange information and advice


Wide circulation of guidelines in HEIs.

To consider setting up internal task groups, including student representation, to ensure institutions response to guidelines

That appropriate staff development sessions are incorporated in annual program

that guidelines are circulated to partner institutions and consider provision of joint information and training events

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