Liberal Democrats

F17: Student Mental Health

Mover: Munira Wilson MP (Spokesperson for Health and Social Care).

Summation: Layla Moran MP (Spokesperson for Education).

Conference notes with concern that:

  1. Many students are struggling with their mental health but are not receiving the support they need.
  2. Over a quarter (26%) of UK universities have failed to increase funding for mental health support within the last five years.
  3. A third of universities do not record average waiting times for counselling.
  4. 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.
  5. There is a large disparity in the support and awareness within UK universities of the mental health support they provide.

Conference believes that:

  1. The NHS must transform mental health services to ensure mental health is treated with the same urgency as physical health.
  2. Universities must fulfil their duty of care to their students by delivering improved mental health support and services.
  3. The government has a role in supporting universities to share best practice on mental health services.

Conference calls on the Government to:

  1. Develop a Student Mental Health Charter for universities in England in consultation with students, mental health charities and universities and introduce it through legislation.
  2. 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.
  3. Ensure all universities have the aim to reach zero suicide.

Conference reaffirms pledges in the Liberal Democrat 2019 manifesto to:

  1. Require universities to make mental health services accessible to their students, and introduce a Student Mental Health Charter through legislation.
  2. Ensure all frontline public service professionals, including in universities, receive better training in mental health.
  3. Introduce further mental health maximum waiting time standards for Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
  4. Use some of the additional revenue raised by putting 1p on Income Tax to provide additional investment in mental health.
  5. 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

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