Mental health charter launched for college staff and students

Three-quarters of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experienced their first symptoms before age of 24

Julia Belgutay

mental health exercise college staff FE

The Association of Colleges (AoC) has launched a charter to encourage institutions to support the mental health of staff and students. The launch comes in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week. 

Statistics have shown that every year, one in 10 young people experiences a mental health problem and one in five experiences a common mental illness such as anxiety or depression. Research has also revealed 75 per cent of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experienced their first symptoms before the age of 24.

More on this: Mental health issues on the rise in colleges

Background: What to do when students have poor mental health

Opinion: 'I was told to teach just two hours after traumatic flashback'

Commitment to staff and students

The new mental health and wellbeing charter allows colleges across England to affirm their commitment to staff and students by signing up. The 11-point document was created by the AoC in conjunction with mental health experts, and includes commitments to promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma, providing appropriate mental health training for staff, and providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate.

Richard Caulfield, mental health lead at the AoC, said: “Every single day colleges across England provide a world-class education and transform the lives of millions of people. This includes providing support for both staff and student wellbeing at the right time, in the right place."

'Commitment to mental health agenda'

He continued: “Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that go on and our charter gives colleges the chance to publicly state their commitment to the mental health agenda.”

Luciana Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree, said: “We know that young people in our country are facing a mental health crisis. We also know that our teaching workforce is experiencing endemic levels of stress and mental ill health. 

“The measures set out in this charter will help promote early intervention for those struggling with their mental health. We know that a supportive environment and being able to stay in meaningful education, training or work is one thing that can promote recovery.”

Colleges that have already signed:

  • Boston College
  • DN College Group
  • HCUC
  • Activate learning
  • Oaklands College
  • Nottingham College
  • Brockenhurst College
  • Cambridge Regional College
  • Warrington and Vale Royal
  • East Coast College
  • Fareham College
  • Leyton College
  • Peterborough Regional College
  • Doncaster College
  • Easton and Otley College
  • EKC
  • Weston College
  • London South East Colleges
  • Richmond Upon Thames College
  • Newham Sixth Form College
  • Coventry College
  • Derby College
  • Lincoln College



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Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay is head of FE at Tes

Find me on Twitter @JBelgutay

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