The mental health of university students and staff has been a focus of increasing concern in the UK, with a weight of evidence suggesting that large numbers of students and staff are experiencing poor mental health, while a part of their university. The number of students declaring a pre-existing mental illness to their university has more than doubled since 2014/15 (1). There have also been increases in demand for services to support student mental health – with reports suggesting that some universities are seeing a doubling in the number of students accessing support. Research conducted to support the creation of the Charter suggests that this increase in demand is felt across the spectrum of mental illness. Both academic and support services staff report that they are responding to increasing numbers of students experiencing high levels of serious mental illness, including suicidal ideation, self–harm and episodes of psychosis.
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