Supporting staff and learners experiencing mental health difficulties: FE colleges research
Research into disclosure issues for staff and learners experiencing mental health difficulties in Scotland's colleges.
In Scotland around one in 77 learners (1.3%) have disclosed a ‘mental health difficulty’ to their college. However, figures from the Department for Health indicate that in the UK one in four adults experience mental illness at some point during their lifetime and one in six experience symptoms at any one time. This stark difference suggests mental health difficulties within Scotland’s colleges are currently under reported.
In response to this ECU conducted a survey of 157 staff and 97 students, from 12 Scottish colleges, who have experienced mental health difficulties. The survey investigated:
- experiences of talking to fellow learners or colleagues about mental health difficulties
- how many learners or staff disclosed at application or enrolment and why people choose to disclose or not to disclose
- how many learners and staff disclosed to receive support and adjustments from their college
- staff and learners’ experiences of receiving support and adjustments.
In seeking the views of learners and staff who have experienced mental health difficulties, it is hoped that the proposed recommendations are targeted to the requirements of learners and staff in the sector.