94 per cent of Bristol University students have opted in to mental health alerts

Students can choose for their guardian to be contacted in the case of serious mental health issues


A new measure designed to improve how Bristol University addresses student mental health issues has received near-universal uptake.

According to figures released by the university, 94 per cent of the student body opted to allow their guardian to be contacted in the case of ongoing issues with mental health.

Students were invited to opt in to the system by ticking a box in the university's compulsory online registration form. Similar measures were previously prevented by confusion about the rules surrounding data protection for a number of universities.

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The vast majority of students agreed for a guardian to be contacted in the event of ongoing mental health problems

The popularity of the opt-in system is indicative of growing student demand on the university to improve mental health services.

Several new measures have already been implemented since the start of the previous academic year with the introduction of the new pastoral system.

The latest announcement forms part of a broader effort to alter a narrative which has seen Bristol and its senior staff called out by parents and students repeatedly.

What is not immediately clear is the process for intervention under the new system. The existing Fitness to Study procedure allows the Head of Student Wellbeing to set up a case review when all other avenues of support have been exhausted.

It remains to be seen how the new power to reach out to next of kin will be exercised.