Student accommodation provider Campus Living Villages has signed a pledge to change the way it thinks about mental health at work and how to be more aware for its residents and the sector as a whole.
Campus Living Villages, who house around 13,000 residents within the United Kingdom, is committed to continuing the behavioural work it’s already doing with Rethink Mental Illness in creating a more ‘mentally healthy’ workplace and environment.
On Time to Talk Day 2018, the student accommodation provider’s UK CEO, Richard Gabelich, was joined by Stephen Field, of Rethink Mental Illness in signing the Time To Change pledge.
Earlier this month, through their new report – Mental Health at University: Bridging the Gap – Campus Living Villages called on higher education institutions to work together and do more to ensure students experiencing poor mental health know that help is available.
The report revealed that 41% of the 2,000 students surveyed consider themselves to have poor mental health, and 39% have felt suicidal – this is almost double the national average.
Later this month, Campus Living Villages and Rethink Mental Illness will join forces with students and universities across the country in hosting a roundtable, which will strive to understand how the sector can collaborate to ensure that students struggling with mental health at university can access the support they need.
Mr Gabelich said: “We know that from our recent report that too many students across the UK are struggling and we know there is always more we can all do. By signing the ‘Time to Change Pledge’ we are making a public statement of our aspirations to tackle mental ill health and the stigma that surrounds it.”
“Like many other organisations in the higher education sector, at Campus Living Villages we’re passionate about supporting students. Based on feedback from university and charity partners and our on-site staff, we’re investing in staff training on mental health – with a lot our staff already becoming Mental Health First Aiders or Mental Health Champions.”
“With the continued and amazing support from Rethink Mental Illness we’re looking at other innovative ways to collaborate and help contribute to supporting our staff, residents and university partners.”
Mr Field added: “Working closely with Campus Living Villages is enabling us to look further into how we can better support students.
“It’s extremely worrying and unacceptable that so many students have had thoughts of taking their own life and are experiencing problems. We all have a responsibility to provide the best support possible and by working in closer collaboration and providing smarter communication it will help us create a student community who no longer feel isolated and unable to reach out for the help that they need and deserve.”
Time to Change, run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, is England's biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.
Read more about CLV's work to support the mental wellbeing of their student residents, here.
Notes: 1.1.1 of ProtectED's Wellbeing and Mental Health Instrument requires member universities to have formal written procedures for student wellbeing and mental health — this covers a range of issues, including student accommodation. Indicator 3.2.1 of ProtectED's International Students Instrument requires member universities to keep an up-to-date 'white list' of accredited private landlords. These measures are cited in Student Minds' University Accommodation and Mental Health report, published in May 2017.
The next Instrument to be included within the ProtectED Code of Practice model will be on student accommodation.