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University of Bradford Student Mental Health Strategy 2021 - 2025: Towards A Mentally Healthy University 

Our Vision

Our vision is a mentally healthy University in which students can achieve their full potential, and develop skills to support their mental wellbeing in their future lives and careers.  We seek to be recognised as an exemplar in the sector for the excellence of our student mental health approach and support. 

Our Principles 

  • We will take a structural approach to mental wellbeing, seeking to eradicate structural barriers to mental wellbeing within our environment 
  • Recognising the importance of the concept of belonging in student wellbeing, retention, and success, we will provide a vibrant academic environment in which each individual student can engage, feel accepted and valued   
  • We will supplement our structural approach with a range of preventative, developmental and proactive initiatives, and the development of self and peer support initiatives to develop resourcefulness, self-care, and community
  • Where individual, targeted support is required, we will provide an individualised, personalised response, with approaches tailored to meet the specific requirements of each student/student community, retaining our focus on prevention first, then intervention and post-vention 
  • We will work in partnership with our students, Students’ Union, staff, and key institutional partners to deliver a whole-University approach  
  • All of our work will align to the University Strategy, University Supporting Strategies, and our values of excellence, inclusion, innovation, and trust 

Our Overall Aims


We aim to ensure our curricula are designed to be inclusive in approaches to learning, teaching and assessment, and that activities meet the needs of different students and enable all students to realise their potential.  By building an inclusive curriculum, and eradicating structural barriers to mental wellbeing in our academic policies and procedures, we aim to minimise the need for individual adjustments. The pedagogical approach should reduce stress for students: programme design and academic requirements should be transparent and accessible for all. By embedding health and wellbeing within the curriculum and equipping academic staff with the knowledge and understanding of how curriculum design can impact on student mental health, the learning experience should be a positive one for students and form part of the institution’s preventative interventions.   


We aim to provide holistic, joined up, range of support services which are clearly signposted and easy to access for all students. This will be delivered from the point of enrolment, through clear guidance in every student’s induction, and through collaborative partnerships between support services and programme teams. As part of this, early disclosure and early engagement is encouraged with the aim of minimising mental health crisis with any interventions being timely and proportionate to the specific context. The University will ensure that every student can access a range of support services, recognising that individuals may require or benefit from a range of mental health and wellbeing support. 


We aim to support staff wellbeing to encourage staff engagement, productivity, and creativity.  We aim to equip our staff with the tools and techniques they need to support students with their mental wellbeing, and contribute to an overall culture of positivity, community, and compassion.  


Recognising the links between physical health, the environment, community and culture on good mental health and wellbeing, we aim to create a healthy campus environment, supporting a holistic approach to mental wellbeing. Focusing on the social, physical and digital environments that are part of the university community ensures that the contextual and environmental factors that can increase the risk of mental health problems are minimised and all aspects of student life are taken into consideration.  We aim to ensure that our environment is safe, open, and supportive, providing an environment in which our students feels secure and supported, and which diversity is celebrated.   

We will achieve this by:


  • Creating a curriculum that promotes health gain alongside learning gain through inclusive and compassionate programme and curriculum design 
  • Ensuring that our approach to assessment provides challenge and stretch, and tests learning, without contributing to unnecessary stress 
  • Reviewing our academic policies to ensure that support for mental health is embedded within them  
  • Embedding support for mental wellbeing within activities to support students to transition into, within, and out of University


  • Embedding mental wellbeing within our Student Support and Success Plan 
  • Providing best-in-sector, integrated student services 
  • Developing innovative partnerships with key regional and national partners, including Bradford District Care Foundation Trust, Bradford Metropolitan District Council 
  • Developing a University of Bradford Wellbeing College, which promotes positive mental wellbeing, facilitates students to manage their own wellbeing, and enhances the mental health support available to those who need it
  • Developing our peer support activities to provide opportunities for peer support for wellbeing for all students 
  • Developing and implementing a suicide prevention plan


  • Equipping our staff with the skills they need to support student mental health 
  • Supporting our staff to understand their role in relation to student mental health
  • Providing holistic and comprehensive support for the mental health of our staff 


  • Identifying and addressing structural barriers to mental health within our University environment  
    Considering the impact of all of our work on student mental health through a revised approach to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Impact Assessment 
    Enhancing our partnership working with our Students’ Union 
    Providing a healthy campus environment, with spaces, facilities, and activities that promote positive mental health 
    Delivering a range of mental health promotion activities on an annual basis 
    Working with our Students’ Union to promote and support aspects of University life which have positive impact on mental wellbeing, including sport and faith


  • Committing to mental wellbeing as a key institutional priority
  • Implementing our student mental health strategy
  • Creating strategic partnerships within our region to support our mental health work


  • Working in partnership with our Students and our Students’ Union in all our endeavours 
  • Harnessing the creativity of our students in designing our mental wellbeing approaches 
  • Involving our students in evaluating the effectiveness of our work 
  • Listening to our students and working with them to respond to their feedback 
  • Creating peer support opportunities to support mental wellbeing 


  • Developing data sharing agreements with key regional partners to support effective, joined up working 
  • Being open and transparent about what we shar, with whom, and why, through our Student Contract, and Student Privacy Notice 


  • Taking a structural approach to mental wellbeing, identifying, and removing barriers to mental wellbeing within our environment 
  • Undertaking intersectional data analysis. Identifying specific gaps in provision and undertaking targeted interventions where required  

Research and Innovation

  • Developing innovative approaches to supporting mental wellbeing 
  • Encouraging partnership working between academic  
  • Staying abreast of international, national, and regional best practice in supporting student mental wellbeing 
  • Evaluating our mental wellbeing work and feeding the outputs of evaluation into our endeavours to embed a culture of continual improvement 
  • Sharing the outcomes of our work, both internally and externally, to shape institutional and sector policy and understanding 


Key Performance Indicator Targets
Student attainment (good honours)  Eradicate the attainment gap (good honours) between disabled students with mental health disabilities and students without disabilities to 0% by 2025 (Access and Participation Plan key objective)  
Student progression to graduate employment/further study   Reduce the gap in progression to graduate employment/further study between disabled students with mental health disabilities and students without disabilities to 3% by 2025 (Access and Participation Plan key objective) 
Wellbeing survey (WEBWMS) scores Maintenance / improvement in WEBMWS scores over lifetime of student journey (annual analysis) 
Continuation data  Reduction in student-led withdrawal citing mental health as a factor  
Extenuating circumstances requests citing mental health Reduction in extenuating circumstances requests citing mental health as a factor
Academic appeals citing mental health Reduction in academic appeals citing mental health as a factor 
Student attendance data   Increase in overall attendance 
Increased engagement with University mental health services from students  Increase in utilisation of University mental health services from student groups less likely to access.  Specifically, increase of proportion of UoBCMHS users of South Asian ethnicity from 38% to 58% 

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