Norland, the world-famous specialist provider of childcare training and higher education, is delighted to announce its acceptance onto the pilot programme of the Universities Mental Health Charter.

Led by the UK’s student mental health charity Student Minds, this initiative brings together universities committed to making mental health and wellbeing a university-wide priority to share practice and create cultural change.

Norland students outside having a group discussion

Members of the Charter Programme form part of a UK-wide practice sharing network with access to events and opportunities to come together to improve their approaches to student and staff mental health. Members can work towards the Charter Award, an accreditation scheme which recognises universities that demonstrate excellent practice.

By joining the Charter Programme, Norland has committed to working towards a set of evidence-informed principles of good practice. This includes a commitment to working with staff and students to provide adequately resourced and effective support services, as well as creating an environment and culture that reduces poor mental health and promotes good mental health for the whole university community.

This commitment forms part of Norland’s wider strategy to provide a nurturing and supportive teaching and learning community for its students, staff and graduates. All Norland students are trained in emotion coaching, an evidence-based approach that helps children to learn to empathise, self-calm and self-regulate, and develop vital life skills for coping with particularly stressful or overwhelming times. In 2020, Norland introduced mindfulness training, to support the health, wellbeing and resiliency of its students and staff.

Dr Janet Rose, Principal of Norland, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the pilot programme of the Universities Mental Health Charter. The promotion of mental health and wellbeing is a top priority for us, and we are firmly committed to ensuring that every member of our community can thrive and succeed to their best potential. The collaborative and holistic approach of the Charter Award offers us an empowering and safe space to assess, challenge and develop in this critical area.”

Rosie Tressler OBE, CEO of Student Minds said: “Even before the pandemic, universities were facing increasing reports of poor student and staff mental health. The last year has highlighted even more the need for a renewed focus and investment in the mental health and wellbeing of our university communities. Now is the time for the universities to come together as part of a collaborative effort to enact long-term, strategic change.

“We are inspired by the number of universities that have committed to coming together as part of the University Mental Health Charter Programme to ensure improved and more equal mental health and wellbeing outcomes for the whole university community. Creating a higher standard of mental health support across the whole higher education sector. Together, we can create a future in which everyone in higher education can thrive.”

To find out more about the Universities Mental health Charter, visit universitymentalhealthcharter.org.uk

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