Hinds bids to make UK providers ‘best for mental health support’

“Going to university should be a positive, life-changing experience,” said the education secretary

Damian Hinds, the education secretary, has set up a taskforce to support students as they start university 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.

In related news: Underlining the urgency of Hinds’ initiative, the Institute of Public Policy Research recently reported a 50% rise in student demand for mental health counselling services

Hinds said: “Going to university should be a positive, life-changing experience. 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 it can for some be overwhelming. 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.”

“The idea of leaving home and starting to live independently can be exciting but also daunting”

“I’m delighted to have the expertise of the sector backing this vision and joining this taskforce,” he added. “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.

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