Availability of mental health support for UK students

Damian Hinds, the education secretary at Leeds University, has set up a taskforce to support students as they start undergraduate courses in a bid to address mental health problems related to the transition.

Members of the new taskforce – which will be known as the Education Transitions Network – will include leading sector groups such as UCAS, the National Union of Students, Student Minds, Universities UK, the Association of Colleges and the Office for Students.

“Going to university should be a positive, life-changing experience,” Hinds said.

“Understandably for many young people, the idea of leaving home and starting to live independently can be exciting but also daunting.

“Juggling challenges like independent studying or managing finances can be hard enough, but with the added element being in a new place, surrounded by new people, can be overwhelming for some. We need to make sure students have the support they need to thrive at university and help these really be the best days of their life.”

Hinds continued, “I’m delighted to have the expertise of the sector backing this vision and joining this taskforce…Our universities are world-leading in so many areas and I want them to be the best for mental health support too. Pinpointing these key areas which can affect student mental health is essential to the progress we must make to ensure every student can flourish in higher education.”

The Education Transitions Network will focus on four core risk areas: independent living, independent learning, healthy relationships and wellbeing.