Coventry University to step up wellbeing and mental health support for students   

Coventry University mental health support
University news

Wednesday 08 September 2021

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Coventry University is set to maximise efforts to target mental health and wellbeing support at students who are typically less likely to reach out for help. 

The project aims to develop a sustainable, student-centric set of resources predominantly aimed at supporting the mental health of Coventry University Group students from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The initiative is being backed by the Office for Students (OfS) in light of evidence suggesting that undergraduate students from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to experience barriers to accessing mental health services within higher education and obtaining the necessary support. 

In January 2020, Coventry University Group invested in a new university-wide health and wellbeing programme and has since produced supportive interventions, resources and activities for staff and students throughout the pandemic. 

With investment from the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education, the Office for Students (OfS) has now backed Coventry University to work with It Takes Balls to Talk (ITBTT), Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust (CWPT), Students Minds, Coventry University Students’ Union (CUSU) and Better Futures MAT to effectively deliver this initiative. 

This project is very exciting, we very much look forward to working with collaborators to enhance our current understanding of the mental health and wellbeing needs of our students, with a crucial focus on students from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health and Life Sciences) at Coventry University

The project will place a sharp focus on the development of a robust and clear support pathway between the university and external health providers, including NHS agencies, with the objectives of driving improvement in access to mental health support and working towards building a seamless experience for students moving from NHS care to the university’s services and vice versa.  

Having a mental health condition should not be a barrier to success in higher education, but for many students this is still the case. Data shows that students reporting a mental health condition are more likely to drop out and less likely to graduate with a first or 2:1 and progress into skilled work or further study. 

That’s why this funding of targeted interventions for student mental health is so important. By paying attention to the diverse needs of students; universities and colleges can fine-tune the support they offer and ensure that all students, regardless of where they are from, have the best chance possible to succeed.

Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Students

Find out more about Coventry University’s health and wellbeing support services.