A unique new NHS service, costing £1.6m, has been implemented in Greater Manchester in the main clinic on the University of Manchester’s Oxford Road Campus and satellite locations in Salford and Bolton. A team of psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and mental health nurses will work with students, using the service to offer them emotional support and enable them to share anything that they are going through with trained professionals.
Many students suffer from complex mental health issues and do not always receive the support they need whilst at university. This can have huge impacts on student wellbeing, as well as contributing to problems in balancing personal life and achieving academic goals whilst maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Although it may not be common knowledge to many students, the University of Manchester offers mental health awareness and support training to all of its staff. However, the number of people that take up on this opportunity is unknown.
President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell stated that “The mental health and wellbeing of our students is and always will be a top priority for us. Today’s students face all kinds of pressures and challenges in their lives. That is why it’s immensely important we identify and help those who may be struggling as soon as possible.”
The University’s welfare service offers a standard assessment to all students and will refer them for more specialist intervention at the new centre if appropriate. It is expected that 500 students will use the service a year. Once a student has been discharged from NHS treatment, the welfare service will continue to support them and help them manage their mental health.
Many students gave their views on what the service should provide and there are hopes among the entire community that it will be extremely beneficial to anyone in need of support, potentially increasing the wellbeing of hundreds and reducing dropping out.
One student, who chose to stay anonymous, commented: “I think it’s great that the University is giving students access to onsite mental health services. Hopefully this will enable more students to receive help whilst continuing with their studies rather than dropping out.”