Open Menu Close Menu

Advancing equality and diversity in universities and colleges


Home Publication Understanding adjustments: supporting staff and students who are experiencing mental health difficulties

Understanding adjustments: supporting staff and students who are experiencing mental health difficulties

Research into disclosure and support mechanisms for staff and students experiencing mental health difficulties

Understanding-adjustmentsIn UK higher education around 1 in 125 students (0.8%) and around 1 in 500 staff (0.2%) have disclosed a ‘mental health condition’ to their university. However, figures from the Department for Health indicate that a far higher number of adults in the UK population as a whole experience ‘mental health illness’.

This difference suggests mental health difficulties within the HE sector are currently under reported, with a large number of staff and students who are experiencing mental health difficulties not disclosing a ‘mental health condition’ to their higher education institution.

This research looks at reasons why staff and students disclose or do not disclose a mental health difficulty, and the support and adjustments that universities provide. 2063 HE staff and 1442 students who had experienced mental health difficulties responded to our survey and their voices have helped to shape the report and resulting recommendations.

Areas covered include:

  • disclosure of mental health difficulties in HE
  • talking to fellow students or colleagues about mental health difficulties
  • take-up of support and adjustments
  • asking for support
  • responses to requests for support
  • receiving support

Recommendations have been provided by staff and students who have experienced mental health difficulties. These cover:

  • talking about mental health difficulties: empowering and educating individuals
  • delivering support and adjustments
  • communicating support