Today (4th December), the Liberal Democrats have pledged their commitment to transform mental health services in the UK by creating a binding Student Mental Health Charter. This will require all universities to guarantee access to high quality mental health services for their students.
This is part of the Liberal Democrats' plan to prioritise everyone’s mental health, including the commitment to invest £11 billion in transforming mental health services, more than either Labour or the Tories.
A recent freedom of information revealed that many universities do not record fundamental data, such as their budgets or waiting times.
The Mental Health Charter would put in law a guarantee for universities to ensure a good level of mental health provision, including the commitment for universities to publish data on their university waiting times, as well as a maximum wait for access to counselling and support.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, Luciana Berger said:
"Mental illness can blight the lives and futures of our young people. Too many are struggling with their mental health and aren't receiving the support they need."
"It is incumbent on our universities to fulfil their duty of care to their students. For many young people going to university, this will be the first time they are living away from home."
"This, coupled with the fact that many universities do not record vital information such as their spend on mental health support or waiting times, means that we are in the middle of a student mental health crisis."
"The Liberal Democrats believe universities should be bound by law to meet the mental health needs of their students. That is why would work with students, universities and mental health charities to ensure that we fix the fundamental failures of current mental health provision for people in higher education."