In July 2021, we announced that the university had joined the University Mental Health Charter program. This provided a valuable opportunity for us to examine our mental health support to students and staff and how well it is embedded across our community from a diverse range of perspectives, including our educational delivery, our services to students and staff, the buildings and spaces we all use, university policies and practices, our university strategy, our leadership, and much more.
Since then our theme leads have audited our policies and practice against the Charter Framework, identified strengths and challenges and drafted a strategic action plan to guide further developments. Our Charter Award application has now been submitted for consideration. The next stage will be an on-site visit in mid-February by assessors who will talk to a wide range of staff and students about our provision.
Professor Cassie Wilson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) commented:
In many respects, the application to the Charter is the first step on a much more significant journey for us at Bath. The important work is ahead of us as we embed mental health and wellbeing across the institution in collaboration with staff and students. We look forward to going on this journey together and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff and students who have already contributed to the application and this exciting initiative.
This work has led to ‘Be Well' at Bath, our vision for a whole university approach to mental health and wellbeing. You can read more about the vision and what it means for you here: Be Well at Bath
As we move to the next stage of this initiative, Professor Rajani Naido (Vice-President of Community & Inclusion) will become the co-sponsor alongside Professor Wilson.
Professor Rajani Naido commented:
I would like to thank Richard Brooks very much for co-sponsoring up to this point. I am very committed to working on this project, particularly as mental health and equality, diversity and inclusion are closely connected. Actions that support belonging and community can also support mental health and vice versa, and in this way we can ensure that all members of our community can thrive.
The SU have played a key role in our application to the Charter Award and also submitted a student-led report to Student Minds. The SU and University will continue to work collaboratively on the Be Well initiative.
Blake Walker, SU Community Officer, commented:
The SU would like to thank all the students who have already shared their experience to inspire the University's Be Well movement. We're proud of the voices of all students who have been confident enough to share their experience of mental health to improve the experience of others. By working with The SU to establish the Be Well movement, The University has demonstrated it is ready to go beyond listening to students' experiences, to acting on those to make improvements which involve students in decisions.
How can you get involved?
There are many ways that staff and students can get involved, all year round. Whether this is by student and staff surveys, student and staff groups, the staff and students' unions, training courses, workshops, and other activities. Find out how to get involved here.
You can also get in touch with one of our theme leads if you would like to contribute to improving the mental health and wellbeing of our community:
- Leadership: Professor Cassie Wilson (Pro-VC Student Experience) and Professor Rajani Naidoo (Vice-President Community & Inclusion)
- Student voice & participation: Blake Walker (SU Community Officer)
- Learn: Dr Nathalia Gjersoe (Associate Dean - Education, HSS)
- Support: Alice Ludgate (Director, Student Support & Safeguarding)
- Work: Heather Girling (Staff Health & Wellbeing Manager, HR)
- Live: Catherine Bailey (Deputy Director, Student Support & Safeguarding)