The British Psychological Society (BPS) is calling for all universities to make mental health and wellbeing a strategic priority.
Recent statistics from The Office of National Statistics show that mental health and rates of suicide remain a serious concern for the HE sector.
The BPS said staff from cleaners to professors should be given training on how to recognise a student in crisis, as universities implement a whole institution approach.
Research from Student Minds has shown that ‘these skills are nuanced and complex tasks requiring skills, insight and knowledge.’
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A briefing released by the BPS states that a whole institution approach to mental health is more about creating a living, learning and working environment that supports and promotes positive mental health and wellbeing.
Past chair of the division of academics researchers and teachers at the BPS, Dr Julie Hulme, has been in a position when a late night knock on her university study door may well have prevented a young student in a heightened state of distress from taking their own life.
Reader in Psychology Dr Hulme works at Keele University, and said: “It could be the cleaners that see a student who is constantly aware of a student missing classes with signs of chaos in their accommodation.
“Similarly it could be a lecturer that notices warning signs of depression and heightened anxiety.”