Mediocre rankings for Manchester universities in new mental health league table

Low scoring has been described by HUMEN as ‘concerning findings’

A new university league table has exposed Manchester’s universities mental health support with University of Manchester and University of Salford ranking in the bottom half of the 80-uni table.

Mental health charity, HUMEN, ranked the 80 universities across five different areas: student satisfaction, engagement, awareness, financing and service provision.

The one-year-long study surveying 7,200 students concluded the following positions for Manchester’s different universities:

  • Manchester Metropolitan University ranked 25th with a score of 53.1
  • University of Manchester ranked 44th with a score of 49.1
  • University of Salford ranked 52nd with a score of 47.8

The low scoring has been described by HUMEN as “concerning findings”.

First place position was awarded to the University of Reading. They were joined on the podium by the University of Oxford and the University of Central Lancashire.

Although this index is yet to be picked up in major university league tables, UoM student Arta believes the league table is “incredibly insightful and important for upcoming students”.

“It will also put a large and necessary pressure on universities to provide adequate mental health support,” she said.

Not all universities think this complex issue can be distilled into a league table. In response to the results, a spokesperson for the University of Salford expressed “serious concerns about the accuracy of the data and methodology”, labelling the small sample size as “far from robust”.

They added that mental health “is not an appropriate subject for league tables”.

They went on to comment:“The health and wellbeing of our students is our top priority… We carefully monitor and respond to the wellbeing of our 25,000 strong student community and ensure that the support we offer is appropriate for their needs.”

“Our wide range of services includes a Student Care Line that provides mental and emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The phoneline is staffed by trained and experienced counsellors and is just one of the many systems we have in place to support our students.”

“We have also partnered with other Greater Manchester H.E. institutions, the local authority and the NHS to provide and fund a pioneering student mental health service for students facing particular challenges which may present higher risks.”

A spokesperson for Manchester Metropolitan University told The Manchester Tab: “The safety and wellbeing of our students is always our top priority at Manchester Metropolitan University.”

“Our Counselling, Wellbeing and Mental Health team has a wealth of expertise and offers a variety of therapies for many mental health conditions, ranging from counselling to specialist therapies for the effects of trauma and difficulties with substance misuse.”

“Students with complex mental health needs may also be referred directly into the Greater Manchester Universities NHS Student Mental Health Service. This is a unique partnership between Greater Manchester’s five higher education institutions and supported by GM Health and Social Care Partnership and Clinical Commissioning Groups. It was recently identified as an exemplar by the Government and the aim of the service is to provide proactive mental health assessment, support and interventions for students.”

University of Manchester has been approached for comment.

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