Hartpury’s commitment to mental health recognised by new charter award

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Hartpury University has been named as one of the first five universities to receive a University Mental Health Charter (UMHC) Award from Student Minds. The award is a statement of Hartpury’s commitment to the improvement and development of better practice in mental health.

Hartpury put itself forward for review by a team of peer assessors with expertise and extensive experience of working and studying in the sector. Each Assessment Team contains qualified clinicians, higher education academics, professionals, and students.

The UMHC award assessment is a robust process of evaluation aimed at:

  • Assessing the university’s progress against the UMHC Principles of Good Practice
  • Understanding areas of strength and development to inform ongoing improvement to the university and across the sector
  • Recognising those universities that demonstrate excellent approaches to student and staff mental health

Gaining a Charter Award is great recognition of the journey Hartpury has travelled so far, in developing its approach to mental health and wellbeing. Following the assessment, Hartpury will receive a detailed report that will enable us to continue to improve our university approach to mental health and wellbeing.

Hartpury University joins the University of Bristol, University of East London, Glasgow Caledonian University and University College London as the first institutions to receive the award.

A spokesperson from Student Minds said: “Congratulations to these institutions. We are proud of everything they have achieved and the hard work they will do to create change and improve the mental health and wellbeing of their student and staff communities. 

“Thank you to everyone who made the assessment process possible. The Charter Programme is gradually ensuring the sector is working with a shared language and understanding of mental health and wellbeing, and towards a shared vision for the future. We hope the courageous example set by our first batch of universities will inspire other institutions to join the Charter Programme next year.”

Lesley Worsfold, Vice-Principal of Resources at Hartpury said: “We’re delighted to be one of the first institutions to receive a UMHC Award, reflecting our unwavering commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of our student and staff communities.

“Joining the Charter Programme was an important step for us, aligning ourselves with the Principles of Good Practice and striving to provide an environment and culture that reduces poor mental health and supports good mental health. We continue to encourage staff and students to develop the understanding and skills required to manage and maintain their own wellbeing, as well as supporting their peers.”

Hartpury’s Student Zone has been an important resource for students to access support around wellbeing as well as employability, finance, accommodation and more. A student wellbeing team including nurses, counsellors and wellbeing officers helps to support the work of academic staff.

A Student Assistance Programme (SAP) offers support via a 24-hour confidential helpline, and the Achievement and Success Centre (ASC) runs a range of study skills workshops to combat those pre-exam nerves. Our calendar of wellbeing and inclusivity activities helps students to stay healthy and happy, while our Hartpury Active project gives students the chance to join a recreational sports team, experience the benefits of a walk around the stunning campus, or enjoy some stress-busting mindfulness and yoga.

The university produces an in-depth Student Support Guide that provides further information.

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