Bucks New University part of new £2m drive to help improve student mental health

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Date: 9th Jun 2019

Bucks New University is one of nine partners from the Higher Education, charity and technology sectors and Students’ Unions due to adopt a new early intervention scheme which aims to reduce student suicide risk by using data analytics.

The scheme will use innovation, partnership and data to help improve student mental health.

Julie McLeod, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education at Bucks, said: “The learning and wellbeing of our students is always our top priority and being part of this group of partners including the NUS, charity and technology sectors will enhance our work in ensuring that every students gets the support they need.”

“Student mental health is a priority for the whole of the Higher Education sector. With the innovative development from Northumbria University which is leading on the project, we hope to improve the lives of all students by tackling this issue with early detection.”

The scheme is one part of a major collaborative programme launched by the Office for Students to find innovative ways to combat a sharp rise in student mental health issues and spark a step-change in student support across the country.

It is just one of ten large-scale projects led by universities and colleges across the country awarded funding by the Office for Students (OfS) this month.

By mining new data sources, such as social media, researchers at Northumbria University are developing an Early Alert Tool designed to identify students in crisis and deliver the help they need.

Only one in three people who die by suicide are known to mental health services in the UK, emphasising the importance of spotting early warning signs.

Bucks, along with Bucks Students’ Union, was one of the first institutions to sign the Time to Change pledge in 2016 to demonstrate a joint commitment to tackling mental health issues and this scheme will continue that work.

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