The University of Cambridge are set to benefit from a new £1.5 million partnership launched today between Goldman Sachs and Mind, which will provide mental health support in universities.
In the first partnership of its kind, the Mentally Healthy Universities Programme will be delivered by Mind and will reach over 8,000 students and staff across the University of Cambridge and nine other universities in its first two years.
The programme will provide support and specialist training to equip these University communities with knowledge, skills and confidence to support their own mental health and support others. This includes resilience training for students and workplace wellbeing workshops for final year students who are about to graduate and transition into the workplace.
There is a growing recognition of the mental health challenges faced by the UK’s higher education sector. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency the number of students who disclosed a mental health condition has almost doubled between 2012 and 2015 to nearly 45,000. However, national figures suggest that mental health difficulties within higher education are currently underreported as just one in 125 students (0.8%) and around one in 500 staff (0.2%) have disclosed a mental health condition to their university.
Goldman Sachs is a major recruiter of university graduates and its backing for this programme is part of broader efforts to improve mental health support in the workplace and wider communities. With a focus on students in their first and final years of study, the programme will address transitional moments in students’ lives that can bring added challenges and pressures.
The programme is funded by Goldman Sachs Gives, a donor-advised fund for Goldman Sachs’ current and retired senior employees to recommend grants to qualifying non-profit organizations.
Richard Gnodde, CEO of Goldman Sachs International, said: “The transition through higher education and into the workforce is often a challenging and pressurised time in young people’s lives. We believe employers have an important role to play in changing attitudes towards mental health through providing support, resources and open conversation around an often stigmatized subject. We look forward to supporting Mind and Universities across the UK in establishing this critical programme.”
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “We are really excited to be working with Goldman Sachs to better support thousands of university students and staff across England and Wales. We know that both students and staff face many pressures unique to the university environment. This timely opportunity allows us to deliver a programme that responds to the needs of university communities, building on good practice within the sector, to ensure everyone with a mental health problem receives support and respect.”
Chad Allen, Project Officer for the Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy at the University of Cambridge, said: “We’re delighted to be part of this exciting new initiative and look forward to working with Mind and Goldman Sachs to better support our university community. We hope that by equipping students and staff with the tools and knowledge needed to support their mental health we’ll be helping them to have the best university experience possible, as well as giving them vital skills for after they graduate.”
Emily Gray, Deputy CEO of Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind, said: “Whilst university can be an incredibly exciting time for students, it can also come with a unique set of challenges – including moving away from friends, family and the familiarity of home. It’s so important that students are supported throughout their journey which is why we’re so pleased to be working with Goldman Sachs to improve mental health resources and provide training at the University of Cambridge.
The 10 participating universities, are:
- University of Bath
- University of Cambridge
- University of Greenwich
- University of Bristol
- Teeside University
- The London School of Economics and Political Science
- Leeds Beckett University
- University of Sheffield
- University of Central Lancashire
- Oxford Brookes