Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes

  • Thursday, 16 May 2019
  • Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre
  • 10:00 - 16:30
  • Overview

Recognition of the prevalence of student mental health and wellbeing issues has led to a culture change in higher education institutions. This conference will bring together HEIs, public and voluntary sector service providers, service users and mental health professionals to share best practices and develop their approach to improving student mental health outcomes.    

Pressures brought on by workload, budgeting, relationships and the transition to living independently contribute to an environment in which, according to YouGov’s 2016 survey of British students, more than a quarter (27%) of student’s reported having struggled with mental health issues. The Institute for Public Policy Research’s 2017 survey ‘Not by degrees: Improving student health in UK universities’ revealed that 95% of HEIs had reported an increase in the demand for counselling services. In 2016/17 student suicides have increased to 4.7% per 100,00 of the population according to the Mental Health Foundation.

Universities are developing strategies and employing teams to support students. Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes will examine how policy can be developed to provide support for HEIs and students; reviewing the impact of HE reforms and existing cultures on student experience and mental health.

  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair's Opening Address


Keynote Address

  • John de Pury, Assistant Director of Policy and Mental Health Lead, Universities UK (invited)

Facing greater academic and social pressures, a lack of personalised pastoral care and growing financial burden, mental health issues amongst students is on the rise. Until 2009-10, the rate of male and female students reporting mental health issues was about 0.5%. By 2015, however, it had risen to 2.5% of female students and 1.4% of male students. Suicide rates amongst students have hit record levels in recent years. Students can also face up to four months waiting times to see a counsellor about their issues. This will address what can be done to solve the issues.


Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Bristol (invited)

The University of Bristol has drafted new mental health and wellbeing strategies in response to a consultation with students and staff. Key themes that have emerged from the consultation and will shape the policies are:

  • Ideas to review the structure of the academic year with a particular focus on wellbeing.
  • Support for transition points where students may be particularly vulnerable i.e. suspension of studies.
  • A commitment to collect data annually in order to identify trends that require a response and to act with transparency.
  • The nature and tone of communications around mental health.

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair, All Parliamentary Group on Loneliness and Member of Parliament for Leeds West (invited)

Sodexo’s 2017 International University Lifestyle Survey found almost half (46%) of UK students experienced loneliness at university – compared to 32% globally. As Chair of the All Parliamentary Group on Loneliness and Co-chair of the cross-party Jo Cox Loneliness Commission; Rachel Reeves MP has played a leading role in developing a policy response to loneliness.


Main Sponsor


Question and Answer Session

John de Pury, Assistant Director of Policy and Mental Health Lead, Universities UK (invited)

Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President, The University of Bristol (invited)

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair, All Parliamentary Group on Loneliness and Member of Parliament for Leeds West (invited)


Coffee in the Networking Area


Professor Susan Powell, Professor of Public Health, Manchester Metropolitan University (confirmed) 


Panel Discussion

Speaker TBA

Speaker TBA

Speaker TBA

Speaker TBA


Lunch in the Networking Area


Chair's Afternoon Remarks


Case Study


Speaker TBA


Case Study


Question and Answer Session


Chair’s Closing Remarks and Event Close

  • Register for event

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Jonathan Smith
Please contact us on 0161 376 9007 to register for this event
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Contact Details


Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre

Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre

In 2002 the building was placed on the Listed Buildings at Risk Register with the Mary Ward House trust having failed to secure lottery funding.

The building has been painstakingly renovated to ensure that this extremely important part of National Heritage continues to serve as a place of learning, knowledge dissemination and promotion of equality.

We are continually reinvesting in upgrading and renovating the building to ensure it continues to serve society through the advancement of education (by the establishment and maintenance of a Grade 1 Listed building/museum)

This objective directly enables us in; the advancement of the arts, culture, heritage and science; the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage; the advancement of citizenship or community development

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    • 12 February 2019
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Downloads & Resources

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