Category: NUS Wales Policy
Student mental health and wellbeing has become a growing problem for a variety of reasons. This issue spans both the further education and higher education sector indiscriminately.
Students’ Unions and NUS Wales have successfully lobbied for additional funding from the Welsh Government over the past two years, seeing an initial £2m investment in universities and now a £4m investment to be split between higher and further education.
Whilst we are hugely appreciative of the investment from the Welsh Government, the way in which this money has been spent has varied. In some cases, students in some institutions have had more influence than their peers in others. This cannot be allowed to continue. Students should be partners and co-creators in their own education experience and should be involved at every level of decision making, especially around health and wellbeing.
If it’s about us, then don’t do it without us.
This conference calls upon the Welsh Government and relevant sector organisations to ensure that students are truly partners in the decision-making behind and the delivery of this funding and any other funding relevant to their health and wellbeing.
In addition, this conference calls upon the Welsh Government to guarantee long-term, ring-fenced funding to tackle the issues of mental health and wellbeing across the whole education sector. This is an issue which will not be solved in-year, we need a joined-up short and long term strategy.
I have first hand experience regarding the patchy support for student who was/is suicidal. There are very often other costs that can be caused by Mental health problems these are often financial, better support is needed here as well. As these problems can exacerbate the mental well being of the student.
Ensuring the investment into mental health and wellbeing becomes long-term, and strategic, has to be the aim, rather than it being a 'one-off' investment. Putting further pressure on Welsh Government and HEFCW would help with this.
Putting pressure on HEFCW to revise how they accept, liaise and communicate with the health and wellbeing funding bids for future use would be beneficial. Also to look at further funding over a longer period of time.