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University introduce mental health opt-in scheme

University launched new mental health opt-in scheme for students

By Victoria Dyer, Student Correspondent

The University of Bristol have launched their opt-in mental health scheme. This gives the University consent to tell parents and/or guardians of potential mental health struggles their child may be experiencing at university.

It allows data-protection laws, which previously forbid the sharing of sensitive medical information, to be overlooked in the interest of their mental health and wellbeing.

Freshers and returning students are given the opportunity to give consent for university staff to share major concerns with home support systems. This follows the University's effort to put more time, money and resources into mental health support for its students.

The University have also employed a further 50 members of staff whose role it is to look out for students struggling with their mental health.

The institution have launched three new student centres which are open 24 hours a day, allowing students to source professional help with their mental health concerns.

In the last 18 months, there have been several suicides at the University. According to the Public Policy Research, the number of students now arriving at university with a mental health condition has increased five-fold over the course of the last 10 years.

The Vice-Chancellor, Hugh Brady stated that the University's 'mantra now is mental health is everybody's business'. It is apparent that some 94 per cent of students, both fresher’s and returning, have agreed to the opt-in scheme.

Such measures indicating the positive and constructive steps the University are taking in order to better understand the mental health needs and conditions of its students and aid them throughout their time at the University.

Featured image: Shutterstock/Simon Chapman