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University of York to invest £500k into mental healthcare

It doubles their current annual spending on mental health

The University of York has announced that it will be investing £500,000 into mental health care on campus.

This will help to fund the employment of 13 more well-being support staff across different departments. This comes after YUSU's health & well-being officer Steph Hayle has been campaigning for increased staffing for student well-being.

The figure of £500k doubles what the university spends annually on mental health.

The role of the new staff will be to improve signposting of services and communication with students as well as improving support across campus.

A press release seen by Nouse said that the roles would be fully advertised soon, with the intention being for the new support staff to start in academic year 2020/21.

Their main focus will be addressing communication issues for students who are dealing with mitigating circumstances, such as leaves of absence, extensions to deadlines and counselling. Academic issues which involve these mitigating circumstances will be kept within the department of study.

Open Door will also employ three more members of staff in order to co-ordinate support for students.

The well-being support staff being employed by the university will help to ensure that the support that students can access isn't limited by their college or degree subject.

These staff members will be placed across Heslington East, Heslington West and King's Manor, meaning that students will no longer have to face long travel distances when trying to access support if they do not live near it.

Nouse also report that 1 in 9 students at the University of York use Open Door during their time at university and this investment will seek to provide students with more appropriate support for their issues.

YUSU's Wellbeing Officer, Steph Hayle, praised the investment as it is "certainly going to streamline how students access support," though also added: "We can provide all the treatment we want, but if we're not cutting the cost of University for students, we're not addressing problems correctly. This will help a large number of people, but there are still other things that need to be addressed, like the cost of living and poor accommodation standards."