The University of York is investing up to £500,000 in mental health support

‘Promoting positive mental health is an important responsibility for universities’

The University of York will be investing up to £500,000 over the next three years into mental health care provisions. The university have taken on two new members of staff and will be expanding its in-house counseling service to meet the growing needs of students.

This comes five months after the university published a shocking report showing that in the first half of 2016, 50 per cent of all ambulance call outs to the university were related to self-harm or attempted suicide. The closure of York’s Bootham Park mental health hospital in 2015 put further strain on the university’s previously inadequate care.

Improvements have been made to online and mobile services and the university will continue to fund student-run services such as Nightline. YUSU will also be leading a campaign on social media and the on-campus GP practice will receive new and expanded facilities.

Vice-Chancellor Koen Lamberts said: “Promoting positive mental health is an important responsibility for universities, but also society as a whole. As the number of students considering higher education grows, we must work hard to encourage openness between staff and students to talk about these issues in a supportive environment.

“Working together with our partners in the NHS, we aim to strengthen our mental health support and raise awareness amongst our staff and students on how to identify signs of ill health and what resources are available to help.”

YUSU’s Welfare Officer, Dom Smithies told The Tab: “This news is hugely positive and we are glad to see the University listening to students at the University of York, engaging with the report that was produced by the Student Mental Ill-Health Task Group and establishing mental health as a priority.

“An increase in funding isn’t the ultimate solution that will solve the mental health crisis, but the commitments announced today are a massive step in the right direction and students that need support will hopefully feel the benefits immediately.

“We will be continuing to work with the University to deliver on the actions that were recommended in the Task Group report and ensure this issue remains at the top of its agenda.”