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Student Mental Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education


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Table of Contents

Part 1: The context Chapter 1: Higher Education in the twenty-first century: changes and challenges for mental wellbeing - Ruth Caleb and Nicola Barden Chapter 2: The legal positions: obligations and limits - Sian Jones-Davies Part 2: Mental health Chapter 3: Student Mental Health and the Developing Mind - Dominique Thompson Chapter 4: The student life cycle: pressure points and transitions - Denise Meyer Chapter 5: Cultural approaches to Mental Health Among Migrating Students - Antonio Ventriglio, Gurvinder Kalra and Dinesh Bhugra Part 3: Policy and practice Chapter 6: From strategy to policy and procedure: Making mental health policies work - Ruth Caleb Chapter 7: Academic and departmental support - Ann-Maria Houghton Chapter 8: Professional support in Higher Education - Nic Streatfield Chapter 9: Risk and crisis: Managing the challenges - Nicola Barden Chapter 10: Supporting staff: Creating the conditions for confident support - Andrew Reeves

About the Author

Dr Nicola Barden is a Professional Fellow at the University of Winchester, where from 2013-18 she was the Director of Student Services. Prior to this she led counselling and mental health teams at the Universities of Portsmouth and Aston. She has over thirty years' experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist, spending some time in the voluntary sector working with young people and those with alcohol problems. She has chaired the Heads of University Counselling Services group, and contributed significantly to the work of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) as Chair of their Accreditation and then Professional Standards Committee before becoming Chair of the Association from 2005-08. She remains a Fellow of the Association, and was also registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. She has edited the BACP Journal Therapy Today, been a lecturer and external examiner on several counselling programmes, and has published in the field of gender, sexuality and therapy. From 2012 to 2018 she was the Secretary of the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Working Group, and from 2016-18 was on the Executive Committee of AMOSSHE, the Student services organisation. Dr Ruth Caleb MBE is a wellbeing consultant, trainer and psychotherapist, BACP member and registered with UKCP, who specialises in the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff in higher education. She is also a supervisor and tutor on the Metanoia Institute / Middlesex University Doctorates in Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology programmes. She has over 30 years' experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist in a wide variety of settings, including the National Aids Helpline, ChildLine, fertility counselling and private practice. Over the last 25 years she has specialised in mental health and wellbeing support for university students and staff. She was Head of Counselling at Brunel University London from 1999 to 2017. Ruth was Chair of the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education (MWBHE) Working Group from 2012 to 2018 and was a member of Universities UK's Mental Health in HE programme working group. She has worked strategically at a national level, including addressing and contributing to All-Party Parliamentary Group meetings on student health and informing Members of Parliament speaking in parliamentary debates involving student wellbeing. Previously Ruth was Chair of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy's Universities and Colleges Executive Committee (2008-2010) and a member of the BACP International Research Committee (2003-2006). She has published articles and book chapters on student mental health and wellbeing, ethical practice, organisational support and the role of a counselling service.


I am delighted to see this up to date review of data, research and practical guidance pulled together in an easy to read book for HE professionals. I found it a good reminder of the need to offer culturally competent support systems, to consider cultural bereavement and the psychological impact of transition on the student when planning support services.
-- Lydia Pell

An immensely accessible introduction to key questions about students' mental health difficulties and what universities can do to support them. It makes excellent use of case studies to illustrate the complex problems that students present, and to question debates that dismiss the real increase in poor mental health amongst this growing population.

-- Dr Hazel Christie

There is growing concern about the mental well-being of students and other young people. This book brings together experts in this field to give a comprehensive account of the relevant issues. It will be invaluable to anyone involved in the care and treatment of mentally-troubled students.

-- John Callender

Students face a range of challenges at university, from making friends, to finding a home, to managing limited finances before they can even begin to engage with their learning. This important work summarises the struggles students face and the necessary measures and interventions that can be used in the higher education setting to alleviate their impact. Advocating for a whole institution approach, with a focus on individual wellbeing and community welfare, Student Mental Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education is a welcome addition to literature in the field.

-- Fleur Priest-Stephens

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