Health Service Focus

18.11.19

“Innovative” mental health services announced for Greater Manchester’s students

A new mental health service aimed at Greater Manchester’s students is to be announced at an event this evening (Nov 18).

The service aims to help students overcome significant mental illness, such as psychosis, depression, personality disorders and eating disorders whilst living at university.

Greater Manchester’s universities have partnered up with the region’s NHS to provide a psychiatrist, a consultant psychologist, psychological therapists and mental health nurses to Greater Manchester’s 100,000 students.

£1.6m in funding has been secured for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years through The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford, University of Bolton, Royal Northern College of Music and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, as well as additional funding through industry sponsors.

Professor Helen Marshall, vice-chancellor of the University of Salford said:

“With the launch of this innovative, sector-leading partnership, there is potential to change lives; providing more effective diagnosis and treatment at an early stage and helping all our students gain the skills to manage their own mental health so they are enabled and empowered to succeed.”

Students have reported that accessing NHS mental health services is difficult whilst they are staying at university – reasons for this include not being registered with a GP practice, wait times mean that their appointment falls when they are in a different part of the country and potentially having to move back home midway through treatment.

Universities UK’s 2018 review found that the number of students dropping out had trebled in recent years, with the amount of reported mental illness rising with it.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, believes that having dedicated support for university students will help to curb this:

“When things are tough, we want everyone who lives, works, and studies in Greater Manchester to have access to the best possible support and guidance. This kind of service has the potential to make a real difference for our students, and I hope it can become a model for other places to follow.”

Andy Burnham will be joined by students, university leaders and the team of mental health professionals who provide the care at the event tonight.

40 students have already been seen during the Autumn term at Manchester University’s Oxford Road campus. Students will also be able to access services at satellite locations in Salford and Bolton. The new measures are expected to be used by around 500 students over the course of two academic years.

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