Mover: Munira Wilson MP (Spokesperson for Health and Social Care).
Summation: Layla Moran MP (Spokesperson for Education).
Conference notes with concern that:
- Many students are struggling with their mental health but are not receiving the support they need.
- Over a quarter (26%) of UK universities have failed to increase funding for mental health support within the last five years.
- A third of universities do not record average waiting times for counselling.
- The average longest wait for counselling faced by a student in the UK was 43.5 days - over half the length of a standard university term.
- There is a large disparity in the support and awareness within UK universities of the mental health support they provide.
Conference believes that:
- The NHS must transform mental health services to ensure mental health is treated with the same urgency as physical health.
- Universities must fulfil their duty of care to their students by delivering improved mental health support and services.
- The government has a role in supporting universities to share best practice on mental health services.
Conference calls on the Government to:
- Develop a Student Mental Health Charter for universities in England in consultation with students, mental health charities and universities and introduce it through legislation.
- Include in the Charter guaranteed access to provision of mental health support; guaranteed provision of mental health support of a certain standard; recording and reporting waiting times to allow students and prospective students to have knowledge of when they will be able to access services.
- Ensure all universities have the aim to reach zero suicide.
Conference reaffirms pledges in the Liberal Democrat 2019 manifesto to:
- Require universities to make mental health services accessible to their students, and introduce a Student Mental Health Charter through legislation.
- Ensure all frontline public service professionals, including in universities, receive better training in mental health.
- Introduce further mental health maximum waiting time standards for Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
- Use some of the additional revenue raised by putting 1p on Income Tax to provide additional investment in mental health.
- Transform mental health by treating it with the same urgency as physical health.
Applicability: England only.
Mover: 7 minutes; summation of motion and movers and summation of any amendments: 4 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see page 11.
The deadline for amendments to this motion - see page 13 - is 13.00, Monday 4 March. Those selected for debate will be printed in Conference Extra and Sunday's Conference Daily which will be published here.
The deadline for separate votes is 09.00 on Saturday 14 March - see page 10