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KCL Receives University Mental Health Charter Award

Photo by Emma Carmichael

King’s College London (KCL) has achieved the Student Minds University Mental Health Charter Award, coinciding with this year’s University Mental Health Day on 14 March.

The Charter Award, launched in 2021, is a joint scheme run by Student Minds and Universities UK. It is a voluntary accreditation scheme for members of the University Mental Health Charter (UMHC) Programme.

The award recognises the success and progress King’s has made concerning a whole-university approach to mental health and wellbeing. Approaches are assessed against the UMHC framework.

KCL is one of 10 higher education institutions in the UK to achieve this award since its foundation. University College London (UCL) and the University of East London are the only other London universities on the list.

“We’re delighted to have achieved the University Mental Health Charter Award and my thanks go to everyone who supported this work. We applied for the Charter Award not only to affirm our commitment to mental health and wellbeing at King’s and to support every student in achieving their potential, but to benchmark our approach against research-led, evidence-informed best practice. We know from student and staff feedback how important wellbeing support at King’s is and will continue to work closely with our entire community to create an environment where everyone can thrive.”

Professor Shitij Kapur, Vice-Chancellor and President of King’s College London

The team of more than 130 KCL representatives was led by Professor Juliet Foster, King’s Academic Lead for student mental health and wellbeing, and an Assessor of other institutions’ applications for the Charter Award.

“I’m incredibly proud to have been part of the team who put together this successful application for the University Mental Health Charter, which has been a very important piece of work for King’s. While the Award is public recognition of the great work that King’s is doing on mental health and wellbeing, it also gave us time to reflect honestly on what we still want to achieve. I was delighted the assessment team commented on the fact that King’s had really entered into this spirit of the Charter, and I look forward to continuing to work to fully embed the whole-university approach to mental health and wellbeing across King’s.”

Professor Juliet Foster

Student Minds’ UMHC Programme involves universities that are committed to prioritising mental health, as their website highlights that “the mental health of university students and staff has been a focus of increasing concern in the UK”.

These worries are reflected in a recent report by the UPP Foundation, which states that a “concerning number” of university students are facing declining mental health.

King’s will now remain a member of the UMHC Award scheme but will continue to send annual progress reports to Student Minds to show how it is addressing recommendations made by the assessment team. The University can apply for re-assessment in 2029.

Click here to read more about student mental health.

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